Montreal Canadiens vs. New Jersey Devils
Tip-off: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
The Montreal Canadiens have clinched a NHL playoff berth and have endured a slide that the team and their YouWager fans are both hoping won’t cost them home-ice advantage in the first round.
The New Jersey Devils have other kind of issues to deal with.
Tonight the visiting Canadiens looks to get back on track versus the Devils, which officially have been eliminated from postseason contention.
Montreal (27-13-5) secured a playoff appearance with a 5-1 victory versus the Buffalo Sabres on April 11, but they’ve since dropped four of five after falling 5-1 versus the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
The Canadiens, which have given up 25 goals during that stretch, are tied with the Sabres for the Northeast Division lead — and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference — though the Boston Bruins have a game in hand. Montreal is four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the fourth seed with three games left.
Montreal willl finish the regular season on a three-game road trip that includes games versus the Winnipeg jets on Thursday and the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
New Jersey appeared to have just that last season on their way to a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals, but online sports betting experts agree the team has had a hard time lately and was eliminated from the playoff chase with a 4-1 defeat versus the New York Rangers on Sunday.
The Devils (17-18-10) lost 10 straight from March 25-April 15 as Ilya Kovalchuk was sidelined with a shoulder injury, all but sealing its postseason fate.
Kovalchuk’s return for the last two games wasn’t enough to bring the team’s playoff chances back to life.