The Montreal Canadiens will host the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens are looking to build off one of their strongest games of the year, when they defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night.
Jan 6, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) makes a pass against Florida Panthers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Andrei Markov led the Habs offensively, scoring both goals in the Canadiens 2-1 overtime victory against the Hawks. It kept a trend of the Canadiens rotating wins and losses over the past six games. Currently one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and three back of the Atlantic Division leading Boston Bruins, a little consistency would go a long way in the standings for the Habs.
The Devils have struggled to score recently, finding the back of the net just eight times in the past five games. They have won two of their last six games, and will be without veteran scorer Patrik Elias. This is great news for Montreal, as Elias has regularly beaten Habs goaltenders during his career.
The Devils are currently just two points outside the playoff picture with a 19-18-10 record. That has them in twelfth in the Eastern Conference but strangely onlt three points out of second in the struggling Metropolitan Division.
These two teams met for a home and home back in early December with the Canadiens coming out on top in both games. The Habs squeaked out a 3-2 victory on home ice before coming from behind in New Jersey to win via shootout. Desharnais tied the game with under a minute to go, before scoring the winner in the rodeo show the NHL uses to settle tie games.