Sunday, 27 January 2013

Snapshot Preview: Habs vs Devils - January 27th 2013

Montreal Canadiens (2-1-0) vs New Jersey Devils (3-0-0)
Puck drop is at 6:00pm EST (RDS, TSN 690AM)

Lars Eller will make his return to the Habs' lineup this evening as they take on the undefeated New Jersey Devils. His return will come at the expense of Max Pacioretty who was operated on last night at a Montreal Hospital to have his appendix removed.

Early in the morning yesterday, Pacioretty showed up for practice with flu-like symptoms. The decision for Eller's return to the lineup had already been made before it became apparent how grave Pacioretty's illness was. The power forward will miss the next 3-5 weeks in recovery. Eller meanwhile will move over to the wing, where he is less comfortable, on the Habs' top line with Eric Cole and David Desharnais. Eller has shown the ability to pick up points against the Devils having scored twice in their eight meetings.

40 year old Future Hall of famer, and noted Hab-killer Martin Brodeur roll into the Bell Centre. In 66 career starts vs Montreal, Brodeur has won 43 times, shutting out the opposition 9 times. The future Hall-of-famer is also off to a torrid start this early season with a miniscule goals against of 0.98 and stopping 68 of 71 shots faced over the Devils 3 victories.

While Carey Price has only 5 career victories against the Devils in 14 tries, he too is off to a torrid start this year. The Canadiens netminder has stopped 81 of the 85 shots he's faced and has only allowed 1 goal at even strength. 

Habs' Captain Brian Gionta has faced his former club only 7 times in his career, notching a goal and 3 assists. While Thomas Kaberle has put up 5 goals and 31 assists in 49 career contests against the Devils. Andrei Markov who leads the Canadiens with 3 goals this season has never scored against New Jersey in 31 meetings.

Ilya Kovalchuk has owned the Canadiens, like many other teams in his career. He has averaged just shy of a point per game putting up 36 points in 40 games.

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