NEWARK, NJ – Kale Clague had a goal and two assists, Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki had each goal and assist in the first period with three goals, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 7-4 on Thursday night.
Christian Dvorak had a goal and two assists, and Chris Wideman, Joel Armia and Jake Evans signed for the Canadians. Jake Allen stopped 33 shots to help Montreal win for the second time in three games.
Jesper Bratt, Ty Smith, Thomas Tatar and AJ Greer scored for New Jersey. Andrew Hammond allowed six goals with 19 shots before being drawn at the start of the third period. The Devils have dropped their fifth straight game, and 10th in their last 12, scoring 0-3-1 in their four home games.
Montreal created a 3-1 advantage in the first period and then relied heavily on Allen until the end of the road. The goalkeeper scored 14 saves in the second period and 18 in the 18:44 period when New Jersey defeated Montreal 19-2.
Greer reduced Montreal’s lead to 3-2 with five minutes to go in the second period with his first goal of his seventh game of his career with the Devils. The Army later gave Montreal a two-goal lead of 1:20.
Wideman and Dvorak scored 15 seconds apart at the start of the third period to chase Hammond. He fell to 0-1-1 in a couple of starts since joining the Devils in a trade with the Canadians on March 21.
Smith and Bratt scored each goal for New Jersey 6-4, but Clague’s goal at 13:17 thwarted any threat of a comeback.
Suzuki and Evans put Montreal in the lead with goals in the first period with a gap of 2:06. Suzuki intercepted their colleague Rem Pitlick and defeated Hammond over the glove, bringing the Canadians to a 1-0 lead.
Evans scored 2-0 after defender Corey Schueneman won the fight and then fed the center of Montreal’s second line the moment he hit Hammond over the glove at 6:41.
The Tatar, who played the past three seasons for Montreal before signing a free agent deal with the Devils in August, put New Jersey on the table with his 14th goal 30 seconds after Evans ’goal. He took a pass from teammate Dawson Mercer and defeated Allen 2-1 at 7:11.
LOSS OF POWER
New Jersey have had 0 for 2 in power play and 0 for their 11 in their last five games.
Caufield’s goal in the first period was his third in the last three games and the 16th since coach Martin St. Louis took over as Canadiens coach for Dominique Ducharme on 9 February. Caufield have four points in their last three Montreal games and 29 (16 goals, 13 assists) in their last 25 games.
Canadians: In Toronto on Saturday night
Devils: In Dallas on Saturday.