Devils-Canadiens: Poor Goaltending Spoils Montreal Rookie's Debut

Kevin van SteendelaarAnalyst IJanuary 2, 2009

Max Pacioretty scored his first goal on his first shot in his first NHL game, but shaky goaltending and questionable defence would spoil the rookie's debut as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1.

The highly touted winger would score at 16:30 of the first, shortly after Brian Gionta had opened the scoring in the period.

It clearly was not a good night for Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who would allow the Devils' second goal to Zach Parise, on just New Jersey's seventh shot, after Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov made a poor clearing attempt.

Halak continued to struggle in the second period, no thanks to a poor Canadiens line change and rearguard Patrice Brisebois caught pinching.

This allowed John Madden to score the third Devils goal, high glove side. Halak would finish the second period, but he was replaced by Marc Denis in the third.

As for the Devils, once this team has a two-goal lead, Martin Brodeur or not, the opposition will get few opportunities to get back in the game.

Whatever opportunities the Canadiens would get, Scott Clemmensen was there to stop. The Devil's netminder put up a 33-save night to earn the first star of the game.

Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner would put the game beyond reach in the third period.