Martin Brodeur loves playing against his hometown team.
The Devils' goalie, a Montreal native, is 39-16-5 with a 1.75 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and nine shutouts against the Canadiens. He holds a 16-8-1 record at the Bell Centre, with a 1.52 GAA, .945 save percentage and five shutouts.
Even as he struggled earlier this season, Brodeur played well against the Canadiens. In the first matchup of the season, Brodeur blanked the Habs, 3-0, stopping 29 shots.
The Canadiens got even on December 2, beating the Devils, 5-1, at the Prudential Center. Brodeur missed that game with an injury.
Brodeur's dominance underscores an important game for the Devils. Despite their 8-1-2 stretch, New Jersey only has 40 points on the season. They enter today's game 18 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, and their playoff chances shrink with every point they miss.
Montreal, already firmly entrenched in the playoff race, will look to snap a five-game home losing streak today. The Habs have won three straight games, including a 2-0 shutout of the New York Rangers last night.