NEWARK, N.J. -- Center David Desharnais scored the deciding goal of the shootout in the second round to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.
The shootout came after a wild third period that saw the Devils erase a 1-0 deficit on goals by forwards Andrei Loktionov and Michael Ryder only to have Canadiens forward Lars Eller tie the score at 2 with 3:50 remaining.
Left winger Patrik Elias scored with 1:06 remaining to seemingly put the Devils on top for good, only to see Desharnais force overtime by scoring with 35.6 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Canadiens are 7-0-1 in their past eight contests.
Goaltender Peter Budaj made 31 saves for the Canadiens. Right winger Brian Gionta also scored for Montreal.
Devils goaltender Cory Schneider made 27 saves.
The Canadiens completed a sweep in the home-and-home series after beating the Devils 3-2 in Montreal on Monday.
Gionta's first goal since Nov. 1 -- a span of 14 games -- put the Canadiens 1-0 at 10:36 of the first period. He finished a great cross-ice pass from right winger Daniel Briere at the right post for his fifth goal of the season.
The lead stood up until early in the third period, when Loktionov pulled the Devils into a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the season. He stepped off the right-wing boards and took a long wrist shot that beat Budaj through the five-hole.
Ryder put the Devils ahead 4:31 later after some dogged work in the offensive zone by Loktionov. The puck eventually came into the slot for Ryder, whose quick wrist shot beat Budaj high to the glove side.
It was Ryder's first goal since Nov. 10, a stretch of 12 games.
NOTES: The Canadiens entered the game riding a streak of allowing two goals or fewer in 11 straight contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the longest single-season streak for the club since 1975-76. ... Canadiens D Francis Bouillon returned to the lineup after sitting for two games. He replaced D Douglas Murray, who sat as a healthy scratch. ... Devils LW Reid Boucher made his NHL debut. The 20-year-old had 10 goals and 18 points for the AHL's Albany Devils this season. ... The Devils placed C Ryan Carter on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 30, with a leg injury.