Martin Brodeur(notes) has enjoyed plenty of memorable moments against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s unlikely, though, that any were similar to the one he and his New Jersey Devils teammates experienced in their last game.
After New Jersey’s home game was suspended Friday, Brodeur will likely be in net Saturday night when the Eastern Conference-leading Devils look to open their five-game trip on a positive note with their sixth straight victory over Montreal.
Brodeur, a Montreal native, returns home with the Devils (30-10-1) for the first time since a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on March 14 of last season. After idolizing Patrick Roy and the Canadiens as a youth, Brodeur tied the Hall of Fame goaltender’s record of 551 career regular-season wins in that matchup.
Brodeur couldn’t add to his NHL record of 584 victories on Friday when the Devils’ matchup versus Tampa Bay was suspended with 9:12 left in the second period. With New Jersey trailing 3-0, half of the lights at the Prudential Center dimmed due to a failed circuit breaker. The power couldn’t be restored after a near two-hour delay, so the league suspended the game.
No date or location has been selected, but the contest will be continued at the point when play stopped.
“I hope so,” Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said when asked if this was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
With Friday’s bizarre finish behind them, the Devils will look for another solid effort from Brodeur against his hometown Canadiens. The four-time Vezina Trophy winner is 36-15-5 with a 1.77 goals-against average in 56 career starts versus Montreal.
Brodeur made 17 saves and tied Roy’s NHL record with his 1,029th regular-season appearance as a goalie in a 2-1 victory over the visiting Canadiens on Dec. 16.
While the Devils look to improve upon their NHL-best 14-4-1 away record, Montreal (22-21-3) will try to build off Thursday’s 2-0 home win over Florida.
The Canadiens, 10-10-2 at the Bell Centre, had dropped their previous four home games.
“We’ve got four games at home and we knew that this was a big game for us because this team was following us and we need to keep them there,” Jaroslav Halak(notes) said Thursday after making 38 saves for his second shutout this season. “Every game we play at home we need to play better, as we did tonight, because at home we’re not even a .500 team.”
But the way Halak is playing, Montreal could move above .500 at home Saturday night. Halak is 6-1-0 with a 1.85 GAA in his last seven starts.
Former Devil Brian Gionta(notes) will face his former teammates for the first time after missing the Dec. 16 loss with a broken foot. Gionta, who had 152 goals and 160 assists for New Jersey from 2001-09, scored his 10th goal of the season Thursday.
“It’s great to play with guys as good as Brian and Scott (Gomez) are,” Pouliot told the Canadiens’ official Web site. “I’m just trying to make some space for them out there, be the first on the puck and then get myself in front of the net. Scott is a great passer and Brian can really fire the puck.”
Gomez, who had 450 points for the Devils from 1999-2007, has two goals and nine assists in 14 games against his former team.
The Canadiens’ last victory over New Jersey was 4-0 at the Bell Centre on March 11, 2008.
The Devils are 14-3-0 in this matchup since the beginning of the 2005-06 season.