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Devils Blank Canadiens


When the New Jersey Devils are in trouble, they turn to old reliable Martin Brodeur.

Brodeur had 30 saves for his 40th career shutout and the Devils ended their longest winless streak since 1995 by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 Sunday.

Rookie Scott Gomez set up goals by Petr Sykora and Claude Lemieux in a 2:28 span in the second period, and Bobby Holik added another in the third as the Devils broke a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) that included four straight losses.

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  • "Marty played great," said defenseman Ken Daneyko, who set up Holik's goal. "Anytime the team is in slump, your goal scorers or goaltender, your big guns have to come through, and Marty does it time and time again."

    The shutout loss was the second in two days for the Canadiens, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped Saturday night in a 3-0 loss to Washington.

    The Devils fired 48 shots at Jeff Hackett in breaking his six-game winning streak, during which he allowed nine goals.

    Brodeur, who lost 3-2 in overtime to Hackett and the Canadiens on Thursday, made about six good saves in recording his fourth shutout of the season.

    "It was a big win, no doubt about it," Brodeur said. "We have not been playing as good as we wanted lately."

    Brodeur's best saves came late in the first period on consecutive stops on a backhander by Martin Rucinsky and a rebound in close by Turner Stevenson. He also made two good saves on rushes by Oleg Petrov and another on Rucinsky late in the second. He also got lucky when a shot by defenseman Craig Rivet hit the crossbar.

    "We've had chances in the last two or three games but we haven't scored the goals," Canadiens center Saku Koivu said. "Sometimes the puck does not bounce for you. We're not getting breaks right now but you have to find a way to score the goals."

    Hackett kept the Canadiens in the game for the opening 20 minutes by stopping 17 shots in the first and good chances in close by Jason Arnott and Holik early in the second.

    Hackett never had a chance on Sykora's power-play goal at 5:28 of the second period. Sykora tried to make a pass across the crease to Patrik Elias, but the puck hit off the skate of Canadiens defenseman Eric Weinrich and just got by Hackett after hitting off his pads.

    "That's how it's been against us lately, so it was nice to get a bounce on our side for once and change the luck, a little bit," Brodeur said. "We really took it from there and played well."

    Weinrich said he made a mistake standing too close to the net.

    "Those things happen in games," he said. "It happened to the Devils when we played them. If you let those things affect you, you might as well not even go out."

    Lemieux snapped a 10-game goal drought by forcing a turnover by Montreal defenseman Vladimir Malakhov behind the net. Gomez pushed the loose puck back to Lemieux and he beat Hackett in close at 7:56.

    Daneyko set up Holik's 20th goal by breaking up Montreal's rush in center ice. Holik took a pass from the veteran defenseman and beat Hackett between the pads from the right circle on somewhat of a 2-on-1 break at 4:39 of the third.

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