Posted December 17, 2011 on AP on Fox
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Patrik Elias scored twice, including his team-record 348th goal, and the New Jersey Devils spoiled Randy Cunneyworth's NHL coaching debut with a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Elias tied John MacLean's franchise record with his 347th goal on a power play 5:05 into the second. He broke the record with his second tally of the game - and 13th of the season - to give New Jersey its third one-goal lead 1:31 into the third. Cunneyworth took over behind the Montreal bench as the team's interim head coach after Jacques Martin was fired earlier in the day. Petr Sykora, who assisted on Elias' record-breaking goal, David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Devils, who won their fourth in a row. Martin Brodeur, whose father was the Canadiens' team photographer, made 23 saves to improve to 41-18-5 against Montreal in his career. P.K. Subban, Chris Campoli and Lars Eller scored in the second for Montreal, which is last in the Northeast Division at 13-13-7. Hal Gill had a pair of assists and Carey Price stopped 30 shots. Clarkson scored with 1:34 left in the second to tie it at 3 after the Devils blew 1-0 and 2-1 leads earlier in the period. Sykora gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead 7:05 in, just after the Canadiens had killed a tripping penalty to Alexei Yemelin. The Canadiens tallied three times in the middle period to take a 3-2 lead after erasing a pair of one-goal deficits. Subban one-timed a slap shot from the left point through traffic and past Brodeur to tie it 2:21 into the second. Elias' first goal of the game restored New Jersey's one-goal margin before Campoli evened it at 2 with his first goal in four games with Montreal at 6:33. Eller scored his third goal at 8:57 to give the Canadiens' their only lead. Canadiens right wing Erik Cole was called for three straight minor penalties late in the first and early in the second, including an illegal check to the head on Devils rookie Adam Larsson with 1:07 left in the opening period. NOTES: Elias, who played his 993rd game, all with New Jersey, is the Devils' all-time points leader with 845. MacLean is second with 701 points. ... Brodeur, the NHL's all-time wins leader with 633, played his 1,150th game. ... It was the 15th time Gill has had a career-high two points in 1,022 regular season games.
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