By: David Kolb
MONTREAL CANADIENS (27-13-6) @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS (19-18-9)
SECOND OF THREE
Tonight the Devils host the Montreal Canadiens for the second of three meetings between the two clubs in 2016-17. The Devils lost 5-2 vs. the Habs in their first matchup Dec. 8 at Bell Centre and will conclude the season series Feb. 27 in Newark. The Devils have now strung together three straight wins, including Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Canadiens meanwhile are struggling, having lost three of their last four games, including Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
HALL PACING DEVILS
Devils’ forward, Taylor Hall extended his point streak to four games, as he assisted on Adam Henrique’s goal in the third period, giving him the team lead with 29 points. He has four points (two goals, two assists) over his last four games, and in the Devils’ first contest with the Canadiens, Hall tallied a goal and an assist.
MONTOYA TO START
Habs’ goalie, Carey Price will be given a rest tonight after suffering two straight losses. Backup goalie, Al Montoya will get the start tonight, and he has won three straight starts, including two OT wins — all on the road. He begins the night 6-4-2 with a 2.86 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.
HENRIQUE BACK ON THE BOARD
Adam Henrique scored his first goal since Jan. 3, as he tallied his 11th goal of the season at 5:23 of the third period Tuesday vs. Minnesota. Henrique is looking for a big second half of the season, as he has 11 goals with 13 assists for only 24 points, after producing a 30-goal and 50-point season in 2015-16.
PALMIERI PICKING UP POINTS
On Tuesday vs. Minnesota, Kyle Palmieri picked up a goal and an assist for the second time in three games. Palmieri now has five points (two goals and three assists) over his last four games and has seven points in nine games in January. The Smithtown, New York native picked up an assist in his first game against the Canadiens and has 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 44 games this season.