Devils-Canadiens Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 26, 2013
Falling just short of hoisting the Stanley Cup last season has provided the motivation for the New Jersey Devils' strong start this year. The Devils attempt to remain undefeated Sunday night when they try for a ninth consecutive road victory over a Montreal Canadiens team looking for its third straight win. New Jersey (3-0-0) lost in six games to Los Angeles in last season's Stanley Cup finals, but an otherwise memorable postseason run has fueled the Devils' attempt to take the next step in 2013. "When we left last year, we were disappointed, but it left us with a great taste in our mouths, the great taste of success," said goaltender Martin Brodeur, who turns 41 in May. "Now we're jumping right back in and it's like we never left. It's a short season and we have to capitalize on our momentum.'' Brodeur made 26 saves and Patrik Elias had a goal with an assist as New Jersey won 3-2 over Washington on Ilya Kovalchuk's overtime winner after blowing a 2-0 lead Friday. The last time the Devils won their first three games was 2002-03, when they last hoisted the Cup. Though New Jersey's last 4-0 start came when it failed to make the playoffs in 1995-96, this year's team could have the discipline and focus to maintain the quick start. "There's a trust in that dressing room amongst the guys that if they do their jobs and stick to the system, and if we get the kind of goaltending we've got we have a chance to win every night," Devils coach Peter DeBoer told the NHL's official website. Brodeur has stopped 68 of 71 shots through three games but has not won his first four since 1995-96. Backed by the future Hall of Fame netminder, the Devils have allowed a league-low three goals and rank among the NHL leaders by killing 16 of 18 penalties. New Jersey has played stellar defense while outscoring the Canadiens 26-10 during an eight-game winning streak at Montreal that dates to a 4-0 loss March 11, 2008. A Montreal native, Brodeur has posted a 1.25 goals-against average during a personal seven-game road winning streak against his hometown team. New Jersey's team leader with two goals and two assists, Kovalchuk has three goals and six assists in his last six against the Canadiens. Though New Jersey has won three straight overall in the series, Montreal (2-1-0) has some momentum after scoring eight times in the last two games since a 2-1 season-opening loss to Toronto. Andrei Markov has scored all of his team-leading three goals in the last two, including one with an assist in Thursday's 4-1 win at Washington. Healthy after two knee injuries, the 34-year-old Markov is a big reason Montreal is off to a solid start even while talented restricted free agent defenseman P.K. Subban has yet to come to terms with a new contract. "(Markov) controls the game really well; he's got such an important role for us,'' first-year Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "He competes so hard, he's tough to play against. And he's doing a very good job on the power play.'' Markov has 10 assists but no goals in 31 games versus New Jersey. Carey Price has a 3.23 GAA during an 0-4-1 home stretch against the Devils.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Ross’ wife Jan dies from injuries due to Vespa crash

Report: Larry Brown to meet with LIU Brooklyn about coaching job

Report: Jay Cutler garnering 'zero' interest around NFL

Paul Millsap to opt out of contract, become free agent

Martellus Bennett calls out NFL to do more to build up communities

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA disciplines Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez for fighting

Jason Day tearfully withdraws from PGA event to be with ailing mother

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker