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Devils Down Canadiens, 4-1, To Extend Bell Centre Win Streak

The New Jersey Devils (19-30-4) may just want to consider making their Bell Centre their home away from home.

New Jersey defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, Sunday afternoon to extend their win streak to six games at the Habs' home arena.

The Devils' win denied the Canadiens a four-game win streak.

New Jersey dominated play early, scoring twice in the first five minutes of the game to take control of the game.

Dainius Zubrus opened the scoring, netting his 10th goal of the season. The Devils' winger forced a turnover from Hal Gill and beat Carey Price between the pads for the opening score only 1:12 into the game.

Ilya Kovalchuk made it 2-0 at 4:04 of the first period. Defenseman Colin White fired a shot on net that Kovalchuk deflected past Price for the goal.

The Devils good start, however, was interrupted by some troubling news. Goalie Martin Brodeur, always dominate against his hometown Canadiens, suffered a knee injury after making a save on Tomas Plekanec with 4:55 remaining in the period. Plekanec shot the puck from the right corner, and Brodeur's right leg was caught underneath him as he made the safe.

Brodeur finished the first period, but took himself out the game during the intermission.

"It was tough, but I think you have to make the right decision," Brodeur told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "You don't want to get hurt more. I definitely didn't feel 100 percent after I tweaked it."

Brodeur finished with 11 saves and earned a win.

The Devils kept the offense going in the second period, with Travis Zajac extending the lead to 3-0. Anton Volchenkov fired a point shot that was blocked in front of the net. Zajac found the rebound and put it past Price for his ninth goal of the season.

P.K. Subban ended the combined shutout effort at 6:32 of the period, bring the Habs to within 3-1. Subban's right point shot deflected off of Kovalchuk's stick and past Hedberg for the rookie's sixth goal of the season.

That would be the closest Montreal would get, as the Devils shut down their offense.

Kovalchuk clinched the win with his second goal of the game at 18:39 of the final period. Kovalchuk originally hit the right post, but was awarded the goal after the referee ruled Plekanec hooked the Devils' left-winger. If Price had been in net, Kovalchuk would have received a penalty shot attempt.

New Jersey, now 9-1-2 since the midpoint of the season, sit 16 points out a playoff spot. They moved up to 13th in the conference, holding the tiebreaker over the Ottawa Senators.

Hedberg said these games show a return to the Devils' brand of hockey.

"This is what I've seen of the Devils over the years," Hedberg told Gulitti. "I think we're playing tremendous hockey. We're going out feeling we can win every game. That's the way we're going to have to approach it coming up here. If there's a chance, we're going to be paying like this every night and every game is huge."

Game Notes:

Zajac's second period tally was his second in as many games...Devils' coach Jacques Lemaire benched rookie right-winger Mattias Tedenby at 6:33 of the second period. He did not play at all in the third but remained on the bench...After leaving the game, Brodeur was seen wearing a suit and tie in the press box...The Habs once again failed to sweep their annual Super Bowl weekend series.