The New Jersey Devils wanted this homestand to help secure their spot within the top eight teams of the Eastern Conference.
Instead, they'll need a win to make sure it doesn't become a huge disappointment.
The Devils will host the Montreal Canadiens tonight in the final game of their six-game homestand. Gametime is 7 p.m. on MSG Plus.
After winning the first game of their homestand, 5-1, over the Winnipeg Jets on January 17, the Devils lost three straight games on home ice before the all-star break. Those included losses against the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, two of the top teams in the conference.
New Jersey broke their three-game losing streak Tuesday night, defeating the rival New York Rangers, 4-3, in a shootout. The two teams traded goals over the first two periods, and entered the third tied, 1-1. Both offenses exploded, and the Rangers entered the final minute leading 3-2. A lucky bounce helped the Devils tie the game late and avoid a fourth straight loss.
With just under a minute left, defenseman Andy Greene fired a puck toward the net. It went high, but caromed off a partition and came to David Clarkson in front. The right wing fired the puck past the pads of Martin Biron for his 17th goal of the season. New Jersey would get the win in overtime, with Ilya Kovalchuk scoring the decisive goal. Martin Brodeur stopped all three Rangers shooters for his 15th win of the season.
Montreal will look to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. Carey Price stopped 39 shots, but couldn't help the Canadiens extend their win streak to three games. They enter tonight's game tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for last place.
This is the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. Both have won a road game, with the Canadiens defeating the Devils, 2-1, at Prudential Center December 10. New Jersey responded with a 5-3 win in Montreal on December 17.
Brodeur will get the start for New Jersey. In 64 career starts against his hometown team, Brodeur is 41-18-0 with five ties. He's posted a 1.79 goals-against average and .932 save percentage against them. He's shut out Montreal nine times.