MONTREAL (NHL.com) - Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Monday morning he had no doubt young forward Alex Galchenyuk would bounce back after he was benched for the third period Saturday because he took an undisciplined penalty.
A few hours later, Galchenyuk made his coach look prophetic.
Galchenyuk scored the deciding goal at 9:34 of the third period to give the Canadiens a 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Bell Centre, deftly tipping an Alexei Emelin point shot past Martin Brodeur.
The victory was the 11th straight game Montreal allowed two or fewer goals (8-1-2).
Goaltender Carey Price made 28 saves, allowing the Canadiens to remain in a game when they were being severely outplayed through the first two periods and ultimately outshot 30-17.
Price had a lot of help from defenseman P.K. Subban, who stopped two sure goals from crossing the line.
The first came in the fifth minute of the first period when Devils forward Jaromir Jagr deked around Price, went below the goal line and tried to stuff it in short side only to be met by Subban's stick. In the third minute of the third period, a Steve Bernier shot squeezed through Price and was sitting in his crease when Damien Brunner tried to jam it in, but Subban slid into the net and stopped it with his stick on the goal line.
The Brunner chance went to a video review at the next whistle but was ruled to not have crossed the line.
Bernier and Michael Ryder scored for the Devils (11-12-5), who saw their two-game win streak end despite keeping their opponent to fewer than 20 shots on goal in a third straight.
Devils forward Adam Henrique (lower-body injury) did not come out for the third period after playing the final shift of the second.
Brodeur made 14 saves. In the third period he denied Brendan Gallagher on a point-blank chance near the midway point and Pacioretty on a shorthanded breakaway with approximately six minutes remaining to keep the game at 3-2.
The Devils opened the scoring at 11:13 of the first period when a slow shot from the point by Anton Volchenkov was tipped in front of Price by Bernier for his third goal of the season.
New Jersey did a good job from that point onward of limiting Montreal's chances, with Brodeur seeing little action in the first two periods. Yet the Canadiens entered the second intermission with a 2-1 lead on two opportunistic goals.
Bourque scored with a quick shot to the short side off a nifty feed from Desharnais at 8:49 of the second period for his sixth of the season. It was the Canadiens' eighth shot on goal, and they wouldn't get another until Pacioretty scored a power-play goal on a one-timer off an Andrei Markov feed at 16:49.
After the Brunner chance went to a video review, Ryder scored 39 seconds later on a laser from the top of the faceoff circle for his sixth goal of the season, but first in 12 games and second in 18, at 4:42 of the third to tie the game 2-2.
Galchenyuk settled it just under five minutes later with his seventh goal of the season, making amends for his lack of discipline two nights earlier against the Toronto Maple Leafs.