New Jersey goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped 33 shots to guide the Devils to a 4-1 home victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
Clemmensen, who has been a major factor in his team’s success since taking over for injured starting goalie Martin Brodeur (biceps) in November, improved to 14-6-1 in net.
Zach Parise led the offense with a goal and an assist as New Jersey snapped Montreal’s three-game winning streak.
With a first-period snap shot, Parise ran his team-leading goals total to 22 and recorded his fourth score in the last four contests.
New Jersey (22-12-3) rebounded from a disappointing 4-2 defeat to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday and pulled within two points of the New York Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead.
The Habs (21-10-6), second in the Northeast, failed to gain ground on the league-leading Boston Bruins.
Goalie Jaroslav Halak was chased after allowing three goals in two periods for Montreal, who have been plagued by injuries that caught up with them on Friday.
Alex Tanguay will be sidelined for six weeks after sustaining a shoulder injury against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, joining Saku Koivu (ankle), Christopher Higgins (groin), Mathieu Dandenault (arm) and George Laraque (groin).
Brian Gionta gave the Devils a 1-0 lead at 14:21 of the first period before Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal on his NHL debut two minutes later to tie the game.
Parise put the Devils back on top with 1:35 left in the first.
John Madden scored at 11:11 into the second, and in the third Jamie Langenbrunner added the fourth.
“We had a very difficult time getting that fourth goal, even though we did eventually,” Clemmensen said. “A 4-1 final score, I don’t think was very indicative of the type of game it was tonight.”
HURRICANES 2, BLUES 1
At Raleigh, North Carolina, St Louis lost its seventh straight road game.
Eric Staal scored his team-leading 18th goal for the Hurricanes.
In Friday’s other games, it was:
• Coyotes 5, Islanders 4
• Flyers 5, Ducks 4
• Blue Jackets 6, Avalanche 1
• Thrashers 4, Canucks 3, SO