Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only penalty goal on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 after three goals.
The most important thing is that we won, ”said Kovalchuk after the seventh victory of Montreal in ten games. "You know, we hit 3-0 and that's a really good sign. You know we showed a lot of character, we needed this game and we showed up for big goals in the second and third periods."
Montrealer Charlie Lindgren had 20 saves for a poor Carey Price and was able to cope with the chances of Nikita Gusev, Kyle Palmieri and Jack Hughes in the shootout.
Joel Armia, Nate Thompson, Nick Cousins and Christian Folin scored a goal in regulating the Canadiens.
Palmieri scored two goals in New Jersey, including the tied goal by 20 seconds. The late power game was the result of Montreal with too many men on the ice.
Miles Wood and Jesper Bratt also scored goals for the Devils. Louis Domingue had 32 saves for New Jersey, which has played four extra games in a row since the All Star break. He had no chance to shoot Kovalchuk, a former devil, on the wrist.
"He was a big influence in every way because he was a good example, his work ethic, his conditioning, his game and the encouragement of others," said Claude Julien, Canadiens coach, about Kovalchuk, who was hired as a free agent last month , "It was a really good addition."
Folin brought the Canadiens a 4: 3 lead from the right point to 9:35 of the third. Striker Travis Zajac threw the shot into the right circle and hit the net.
The late power game allowed Palmieri to link it to his 19th goal.
The Devils seemed to be in full command when Bratt defeated Lindgren 3-0 in the second half's 6:44 win.
The Canadians' chances of winning decreased even more. Max Domi was punished at 12:29 p.m., which made New Jersey a power game.
Everything changed in the next 40 seconds.
Armia, who was stopped on a runaway with short hands earlier in the review period, fetched Palmieri's pass in the middle ice and hit Domingue on a runaway to reduce the lead to 3-1.
"Right after the shorthanded goal, they took it to another level," said Palmieri. "They played with the despair they needed to be back in the game and we couldn't keep up. That's what happens. We found a way to wear ourselves out and get a point, but yes, we controlled the game up to that point and I think we let go of the gas and they took it up. "
Thompson reduced the deficit to a goal scored less than four minutes later and scored his third goal of the season close.
Cousins tied jt at 7:22 the third with a shot near a nice setup by Brett Kulak.
Wood had given New Jersey a 1-0 lead in the middle of the first round and Lindgren had missed a shot.
Palmieri extended the lead to 2-0 with a Powerplay goal at 1:51. Bratt had his 10th win of the season, although he almost sniffed one shot.
The flu virus went around. Devils D P.K. Subban, Price and the other Canadians Victor Mete and Jordan Weak were all sick.