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1/22-- Devils Game Recap

By: Brian Deakyne

Final Score: Montreal Canadiens (24-23-5) 3, New Jersey Devils (33-15-1) 1

1st Period Analysis: Early in the first period, it seemed evident that New Jersey came out sharp, and ready to play. After a lot of early chances, Zach Parise finally buried home his 21st goal of the season, a breakaway goal off a great pass from the Devils captain, Jamie Langenbrunner. Just before Parise's goal, the Devils failed yet again on the power play, which fell to 0-21, in this, it's eight game without a power play goal. Late defensive zone turnovers would cost New Jersey, as Montreal's Benoit Pouliot would score his 11th goal of the season, from the slot, off of a Devils turnover. Martin Brodeur looked solid throughout the period, stopping 13 of the 14 shots, while Jaroslav Halak of the Canadiens brushed aside 11 of 12 Devils shots.

2nd Period Analysis: New jersey again came out attacking the net in the second, with a couple of good chances early, but were not able to connect on them--something that would come back to haunt them. After a Devils chance gone array, Mathieu Darche of Montreal deflected a shot from ex-Devil Brian Gionta to score his first goal of the season, and give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead. From the Darche goal on, Montreal dominated play in the second, although neither team registered many shots; six for Montreal, five for New Jersey. Another failed power play for the Devils pushed the slump to 0-23 over the final eight games.

3rd Period Analysis: As the earlier two periods, the Devils first line (Langenbrunner, Travis Zajac, Parise) came out sharp, with resulted in some high-quality chances, but again, couldn't finish any of them. After several minutes of back and forth action, a failed Devils scoring chance lead to Michael Cammalleri's 24th goal of the season. The Devils would manage to kill off a penalty shortly after, but it was of no use. The Canadiens held off the Devils attack, and won 3-1.

The Final Tally: Montreal came out with a purpose, Friday night: to get out of their current slump and win a game against a top-notch team--and they did. Scott Gomez played, without a doubt, his best game against his former team, still hearing the boo-birds every time he touches the puck. The result of this game simply came down to the fact that the Devils could not bury their chances, and the Canadiens did. In this NHL, that's what the game will come down to every time. The Devils shouldn't be discouraged by the lack of effort or chances, but more so the lack of finishing chances, and putting goals on the scoreboard.

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