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Rapid Reaction: Devils 5, Habs 3

Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: After Devils winger Dainius Zubrus tied the game with a deflection of Alexei Ponikarovsky's shot at 6:11 of the third, Devils captain Zach Parise tallied the go-ahead goal -- his second score of the night -- to boost the Devils over the Canadiens 5-3. Losers of three straight heading into the All-Star break, the Devils concluded their six-game homestand with their second consecutive comeback win, although it did not come without a price. Rookie defenseman Adam Larsson left the game in the third period with a bruised lower back and did not return.

Career-high for Clarkson: Gritty winger David Clarkson eclipsed his career-high mark, scoring a pair of goals to put him at 19 for the season. With the Devils on the power-play, Clarkson got a piece of Ilya Kovalchuk's blast from the left point, which also deflected off a Montreal defenseman before reaching Clarkson in front of the net. Clarkson also recorded an assist on Zubrus' third-period equalizer before adding an empty-netter with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Another shorty: The Devils surrendered their league-worst 13th short-handed goal of the season, to Mathieu Darche at 1:35 in the second. Defenseman Kurtis Foster, who turned the puck over on the play, was benched for the remainder of the period and played only one 16-second shift the rest of the game.

No goal: With the Devils trailing 2-1 early in the second, Kovalchuk's short-handed attempt teetered on the goal line behind Montreal's Carey Price. No whistle was blown, which prompted Ponikarovsky to sweep in for the put-back, but the original call on the ice -- no goal -- was upheld after video review.

Blunden blunder: Patrik Elias was assessed a boarding minor for his crushing hit on Mike Blunden that sent the Habs winger flying into the boards near Montreal's bench. Blunden, who suffered a lower-body injury on the play, did not return to the game.

Early deficit: The Devils gave up a pair goals in the first 9:23 of the game to fall behind Montreal 2-0. Winger Rene Bourque banked a sharp-angle shot from the goal line off David Desharnais' helmet at 4:11 and Andre Kostitsyn extended the Habs' lead halfway through the period. Goaltender Martin Brodeur challenged Kostitsyn with a poke-check in front, but Kostitsyn spun around him and wrapped in a goal at 9:23.

Seven on D: With Bryce Salvador playing through a "tweaked" ankle, coach Pete DeBoer elected to dress seven defensemen. Salvador deemed his ankle "definitely playable," but DeBoer replaced forward Brad Mills in the lineup with defenseman Matt Taormina after warm-ups as insurance.

Drought drags on: Former Devil Scott Gomez' woeful goal drought has lasted almost one full calendar year. The 32-year-old center, who won two Stanley Cups with New Jersey, has not tallied a goal since Feb. 5, 2011 -- a 2-0 win over his former Rangers team. In 2009, The Rangers shipped Gomez and his albatross seven-year, $51.5 million contract to Montreal, where he has been an even bigger bust since his days on Broadway. He has recorded only 19 goals over 178 games in two-plus seasons with the Canadiens.

Missing down the middle: With Adam Henrique missing his second straight game with a groin injury, the Devils are fighting the same uphill battle they have all season: lack of depth at center. The team is also without top-line pivot Travis Zajac, who is on injured reserve with lingering pain in his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon. Jacob Josefson has been inconsistent after missing almost three months with a broken clavicle; the 20-year-old Swede centered the fourth line Thursday against Montreal.

Up Next: Devils at Flyers, 1 p.m. Saturday.