Devils Dropped In OT For First Loss

The New Jersey Devils owned the Montreal Canadiens on the road, winning eight straight games at the Bell Centre.

Andrei Markov, who missed most of those losses, made sure the streak ended tonight.

The Canadiens defenseman scored the game-winning overtime goal in overtime to hand New Jersey its first loss of the season, 4-3.

The goal was set up by an Andy Greene hooking penalty at the 4:01 mark of the extra session. That gave Montreal a 4-on-3 advantage. Rene Bourque missed wide on a shot from the point, but it hit the endboards and bounced out to the slot. Erik Cole whiffed on the first attempt, but Markov didn’t miss, putting the puck past a diving Martin Brodeur for his fourth goal of the season.

The loss not only snapped New Jersey’s eight game win streak in Montreal, but also ended a nine-game unbeaten streak in the regular season. That dated back to the 2011-12 season, when the Devils won six straight games to close the regular season.

Ryan White, Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Prust all scored for Montreal, who move to 3-1-0 on the season. They’ve won three straight games after dropping the season opener.

The New Jersey Devils overcame a two-goal deficit to tie the game in the third period.

David Clarkson’s powerplay goal at the 5:23 mark of the final period cut the Canadiens lead to 3-2. Patrik Elias sent the puck on net from low in the right circle, with both Clarkson and Travis Zajac crashing the crease. The Devils right wing slid the loose puck past Carey Price for his team-leading third goal of the season.

Dainius Zubrus evened the score later in the period. Clarkson started the play, feeding the puck to Elias behind the Montreal net. Elias then sent a no look pass to the front of the net, where Zubrus one-timed the puck off Price and into the back of the net.

The assist gave Elias 900 points in his career.

Brandon Prust gave Montreal a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead just two minutes into the third period. Rookie Alex Galchenyuk kept the puck in at the blue line and moved to the left circle before throwing it toward the net. Anton Volchenkov blocked the shot, but the puck bounced over his skate and Prust swatted it past Brodeur for his first of the season.

Montreal took control early in the game, striking twice in the first period.

White opened the scoring just 2:25 into the game. Brodeur stopped Alexei Emlin’s right point shot, but left a rebound that White collected and backhanded into the net for his first of the season.

Gallagher scored his first NHL goal later in the period to give the Habs a 2-0 lead. Greene mishandled the puck at his blue line, losing it to Galchenyuk and creating a 2-on-1 rush. Galchenyuk sent the puck over to Gallgher, who blasted it past Brodeur for the goal.

Brodeur recovered from the tough first period, stopping 28 shots in the loss.

New Jersey once again struggled in the opening period, being outshot 17-6 by Montreal.

Elias put the Devils on the board in the second period. Mark Fayne put a wrist shot toward the net from the right point that Elias deflected in the right circle. The puck bounced on the ice and past Price for his second goal of the season.

Price finished with 22 saves in the win.

This was New Jersey’s first and only visit to Montreal this season. The two will face off two more times, with both games at the Prudential Center.

Game Notes

Devils rookie Stefan Matteau returned to Montreal for the first time in his NHL career. The right wing, who has family close to Montreal, started on the top line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Zajac. He played 9:37 of ice time and moved throughout the lineup.

Clarkson’s three points tonight (1g, 2a) tied his career-high for points in a game. He also recorded three points against Montreal on February 2, 2012. Clarkson has six points (3g, 3a) this season.

The Devils have opened a season with four straight games with a point. The last time the team did that was the 1995-96 season, when they started 4-0-0.

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