Montembeault makes 37 saves as Canadiens stun Devils 5-2
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Montembeault stopped three breakaways and made 37 saves as the Montreal Canadiens stunned the Devils 5-2 on Tuesday night, snapping New Jersey's six-game home winning streak.
Defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic and Nick Suzuki scored in a 1:13 span in the second period to put Montreal ahead. Justin Barron, Rem Pitlick and Mike Matheson also scored for the Canadiens, who snapped a two-game skid despite getting 18 shots.
Jesper Bratt and Dawson Mercer scored for New Jersey, which lost for only the third time in 18 games (13-3-2). Vitek Vanecek had 13 saves in losing for the sixth time (24-6-3).
Montembeault was difference, stoning Brendon Smith, Miles Wood and Mercer on breakaways while making outstanding stops on Ondrej Palat an Bratt in close, the latter when he was looking the wrong way and the shot hit off his pad.
Kovavcevic snapped a 1-all tie at 2:29 of the second period when he beat Vanecek from between the circles on a nice setup by Jesse Ylonen. It was his second goal of the season and first since Dec. 6.
Suzuki, who also had an assist, stretched the lead to two goals with a shot to the corner on an odd-man rush after a New Jersey turnover in the offensive zone.
Pitlick made it 4-1, capping a rush up the ice early in the third period. After Mercer scored on a power play to cut the lead to 4-2, Matheson scored into an empty net with 3:47 to go to ice the game.
NOTES: The Devils recalled G Akira Schmid from Utica (AHL) on Tuesday. He served as the backup because Mackenzie Blackwood tweaked in his lower body earlier in the day. ... Mercer has goals in a career-high four straight games. Matheson finished with a goal and an assist and Christian Dvorek had two assists.
Canadiens: At Philadelphia on Friday in the third of a four-game trip.
Devils: Host Kings on Thursday in the third of four straight at home.
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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press