MONTREAL (AP) — Tomas Plekanec scored 1:52 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night to snap a three-game slide.
Andrew Shaw scored for the Canadiens (14-14-4) in the first period and Carey Price made 31 saves in his ninth straight start.
Stefan Noesen had the goal for the Devils (17-9-5), who remained third in the rugged Metropolitan Division. Cory Schneider stopped 34 shots in defeat.
Plekanec beat Schneider between the legs after tremendous work along the boards by Charles Hudon to get him the puck in open ice.
The Canadiens ended their 2-2-1 homestand on a positive note before they embark on a seven-game road trip, starting with Saturday’s outdoor game against the Ottawa Senators to mark the NHL’s 100th anniversary.
Playing their first game after a four-day break, the Canadiens showed some signs of rust, falling behind early. New Jersey scored on its first shot at 1:21 of the opening period after a defensive breakdown by the home side.
With a delayed penalty coming to Montreal, Noesen crossed the blue line unchallenged, took a short pass from captain Andy Greene and launched a wrist shot past Price to extend his point streak to five games.
Shaw, playing his 100th game in a Canadiens uniform, evened the score at 13:31 when he deflected Jordie Benn’s shot from the point through traffic past Schneider.
The Devils were without leading scorer Taylor Hall, who is day to day with a bruised knee sustained on Tuesday. Hall, who has 11 goals and 31 points, did not travel with the team to Montreal.
New Jersey could have used Hall in the second period when the Canadiens took back-to-back penalties, but the Devils failed to score on a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 1:05, thanks largely to shot blocking by Benn and Shea Weber.
Price made one big save on New Jersey’s power play, stopping Drew Stafford on the doorstep while sprawled out on the ice.
Montreal upped the pressure in the final period, outshooting New Jersey 13-7, but Schneider shut the door.
NOTES: The Devils are 10-4-3 on the road. . Montreal forward Daniel Carr had his five-game point streak snapped.
Devils: Host the Dallas Stars on Friday night.
Canadiens: Play the Ottawa Senators at Lansdowne Park on Saturday night.
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