MONTREAL — Michael McLeod scored twice and the New Jersey Devils snapped a seven-game losing streak by handing the Montreal Canadiens a crushing 7-1 loss Tuesday night.
The Devils were looking to redeem themselves after dropping the first of back-to-back games 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators.
New Jersey did just that by taking an early lead and holding on with goals from Dawson Mercer, Nico Hischier, Jesper Boqvist and Tomas Tatar, on his first game back in Montreal.
Brett Kulak had Montreal’s lone goal. Jon Gillies blocked 29 of 30 shots.
Cayden Primeau allowed seven goals from 34 shots. For the first time in 2022, a Canadiens goalie played the full game without getting pulled.
McLeod broke the ice for New Jersey at 4:36 of the first period when he jumped on a Primeau rebound to net his fourth of the campaign.
Mercer doubled his team’s lead with 4:29 to go in the first. The Devils caught the Habs on the rush and the rookie from Carbonear, N.L. accepted Jesper Boqvist’s pass before beating Primeau.
The Canadiens attempted a comeback when Kulak’s wrist shot from the point whizzed through a crowd of players, past Gillies and into the net.
But the Devils brought the game back to two goals, seconds after killing a penalty. Hischier was left alone on Primeau’s glove side. Yegor Sharangovic found his captain with a cross-ice pass who scored his 10th of the season on the one-timer.
The Devils added two goals in a span of 47 seconds late in the second period, leaving Montreal with a mountain to climb.
Boqvist added a goal of his own from the high slot for the Devils 1:07 before the end of the second. Then, McLeod bagged his second of the night from another Primeau rebound to make it a 5-1 game 20 seconds before the intermission.
The Devils kept going, finding a sixth and seventh goal in the third. On the power play, Zacha’s shot from the top of the right faceoff circle deflected off of Primeau’s glove and in. Finally, Tatar scored in his first game back in Montreal from the slot, confirming New Jersey’s 7-1 victory.