MONTREAL -- Trailing by two late in the second period, the New Jersey Devils didn’t panic. They maintained their focus and rallied for the win.
“We stuck to a plan,” Devils defenseman P.K. Subban said “We’ve been in so many devastating positions this season where we’ve lost games late, been scored on late in periods. We’re happy to see all that stuff behind us.”
The Devils started their comeback when Hischier beat Kinkaid short-handed on a 2-on-1 rush with 2 seconds left in the second period. Kinkaid stopped Hischier on a breakaway less than 30 seconds earlier.
The Canadiens took five penalties in the third period and the lack of discipline finally cost them when Simmonds tied it at 3-3 with 4:48 left. Max Domi was in the box for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct.
“That’s on me,” said Domi, who came into the game with zero penalty minutes this season but was whistled for three penalties in the third period. “I can’t do that. It won’t happen again. You just can’t do that. I’ve got to learn from that.”
Domi was penalized when he purposely knocked Blake Coleman’s fallen stick a few feet down the ice at 11:18. He was given an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct for something he said on the way to the box.
“He took responsibility for his actions and he should,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “When you push a guy’s stick, that’s in the rulebook that it’s a penalty.
“Taking responsibility is one thing, following up is another. You hope he can do that.”
Danault appeared to give Montreal a 4-3 lead with 47 seconds left but it was waved off when the referees deemed the forward kicked the puck into the net.
“Obviously a lot of motivation to beat them,” Kinkaid said. “I felt really good out there today, really sharp. It stinks not getting the two points. My job is to try to get them two points and I didn’t do that tonight.”
Both teams were playing the second of back-to-back games. New Jersey beat Pittsburgh 2-1 on Friday while Montreal won 5-2 at Washington.
Gallagher got the Canadiens on the scoreboard first as he found space in the slot and got his stick on Jeff Petry's shot for his ninth of with 1:19 left in the first.
Late-period goals have plagued Montreal all season and Saturday was no exception.
Kinkaid made 19 straight stops to start the game but the 20th shot went in. Gusev was left alone in the crease and scored with 19 seconds on the clock to tie it 1-1.
Montreal took a 2-1 lead when Fleury scored his first NHL goal at 7:43 of the second. The rookie defenseman skated in from the blue line, avoided Pavel Zacha’s slide and beat Blackwood on the backhand.
Suzuki put the Canadiens up 3-1 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal, a tap-in from the side of the net with 1:18 remaining in the second on Domi’s rebound. New Jersey has the league’s worst penalty kill on the road this season.
Subban was playing his sixth game against his former team and Bell Centre fans booed the former crowd favorite every time he touched the puck.
“I’ll never play head games with the fans here,” Subban said. “They almost have every right to boo me with the way they’ve treated me with my time here, even on opposing teams. They’ve never wavered in their support for me.”
NOTES; Canadiens coach Claude Julien shuffled his lines with the injuries to Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron. Jesperi Kotkaniemi (recovered from groin injury) and Charles Hudon (recalled from AHL) were back in the lineup. ... Domi played left wing next to C Suzuki. ... Montreal’s Shea Weber extended his point streak to six games. ... Legendary Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak and new Impact coach Thierry Henry were both in attendance at Bell Centre.
Devils: Host Boston on Tuesday night.
Canadiens: At Columbus on Tuesday night.
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