The road has been very kind to the Montreal Canadiens.
Then again, just about every location has been a favorable spot for the team tied for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Montreal looks to match a season high with its fifth straight win Saturday night when it visits the New Jersey Devils.
Playing five road games in eight days hardly fazed the Canadiens (18-5-4), who won four of five on the recent trip while scoring 20 goals. They have one regulation loss in their last 11 on the road (8-1-2) and will get a chance to continue that success with four of their next six in opposing arenas.
Montreal played just it second home game this month on Wednesday and recovered for a 4-3 shootout victory over Ottawa after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period.
"It's good for this team that we can win all types of games," said Lars Eller, who scored in the first period and added the decisive goal in the tiebreaker. "We can defend leads, we can catch up if we're behind. We won in a shootout this time. It's good for the team's confidence."
Also helping their confidence is a deep offense that is among the league's most potent. The Canadiens are fourth in the NHL with 3.19 goals per game, scoring at least three in eight consecutive contests. They are the only team in the East that has 12 players in double digits in points.
Montreal's power play has also played a key role in the club's success, ranking in the top 10 and converting 7 of 25 chances in the last four games. Defenseman P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist against the Senators, giving him points on the Canadiens' last nine power-play goals.
Carey Price will likely face the Devils for the second time this season after he made 22 saves in a 4-3 overtime win at home Jan. 27. Price is 3-0-0 with a 2.60 goals-against average in his last three starts, but has a 3.75 GAA in his past four meetings with New Jersey.
The Devils (13-9-6) settled for three points in a home-and-home set with Philadelphia, following Wednesday's 5-2 win with a 2-1 shootout loss Friday. David Clarkson scored his first goal in 14 games - his team-high 11th - for New Jersey, which had won three of four.
The loss was the sixth straight on the road for the Devils, who have won three in a row at home and are 9-3-2 at the Prudential Center. They had dropped four straight on home ice to the Canadiens before Clarkson scored twice in a 5-3 victory in the most recent meeting there Feb. 2, 2012.
New Jersey's power play went scoreless on five opportunities Friday, including a 92-second two-man advantage in the first period, and is 3 for 36 over the last 11 games.
Johan Hedberg made his 11th consecutive start in net with Martin Brodeur sidelined by a sore back. He is 3-6-2 with a 3.16 GAA during that span.
Clarkson has five goals and three assists during a four-game point streak against Montreal.
Devils center Andrei Loktionov suffered an undisclosed injury in the first period Friday and did not return. His status is uncertain.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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