MONTREAL - Max Domi took full responsibility for costing his team the win.
A lack of discipline from Domi in the third period allowed New Jersey back in the game as the Devils completed the comeback to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night.
Domi took three penalties in the third and was in the box when New Jersey’s Wayne Simmonds scored the late 3-3 equalizer.
“That’s on me,” said Domi, who came into the game with zero penalty minutes this season. “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 called for interference when he purposely knocked Blake Coleman’s fallen stick a few feet down the ice at 11:18. The winger was given an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct for something he said on the way to the box.
Simmonds tied the game with six seconds left in Domi’s second penalty.
“He took responsibility for his actions and he should,” said coach Claude Julien. “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.”
Lack of discipline cost the Canadiens again in overtime when Phillip Danault got two minutes for hooking Taylor Hall. Kyle Palmieri scored the OT winner on the power play at 1:30 on a one-timer from Hall.
The Devils (7-8-4) have beaten the Canadiens (11-5-4) in six straight contests.
New Jersey was down 3-1 and started the comeback with two seconds left in the middle frame when Nico Hischier beat Keith Kinkaid short-handed on a 2-on-1 rush. Kinkaid stopped Hischier on a breakaway less than 30 seconds earlier.
Late-period goals have plagued Montreal all season and Saturday was no exception. Kinkaid also conceded a goal to Nikita Gusev with 19 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Canadiens backup, who spent five seasons with the Devils, made 39 saves against his former club.
“Obviously a lot of motivation to beat them,” said Kinkaid, who dropped to 1-1-2 this year. “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 in Washington.
Mackenzie Blackwood, starting his second game in as many nights, looked less sharp at the other end but he stopped 31-of-34 shots for the win.
The feisty Brendan Gallagher deflected a shot past Blackwood to open the score at 18:41 of the first.
Rookie defenceman Cale Fleury gave Montreal a 2-1 lead with his first NHL goal at 7:43 of the second before Nick Suzuki made it 3-1 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 18:42.
It looked like Danault gave the Canadiens a 4-3 lead with 47 seconds left in the third period but the referees deemed the Montreal winger had pushed the puck in with his thigh.
“We stuck to a plan,” said Devils defenceman P.K. Subban, who was playing his sixth game against his former team. “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.”
Bell Centre fans rather surprisingly booed Subban, a fan favourite while in Montreal, every time he touched the puck.
“I’ll never play head games with the fans here,” said Subban, who has five points this year. “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: Domi played left wing beside Suzuki. … Shea Weber extended his point streak to six games. … The Canadiens sent Charles Hudon back to the AHL's Laval Rocket after the game. ... Legendary Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak and new Impact coach Thierry Henry were both in attendance at Bell Centre.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2019.