"When you're up against a good team, you try to better their intensity," Gionta said. "With a good team like that, you have to play on the edge."
Tomas Plekanec, Richard Zednik and Saku Koivu scored consecutive second-period goals as the Canadiens wiped out a 2-0
Devils lead but lost in regulation on the road for the first time this season (6-1-2).
With the game tied 3-3 in the third, Gionta knocked in a rebound of Brian Rafalski's shot at 7:25 as the Devils scored their third power-play goal. Madden closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal with 23.4 seconds remaining.
Gomez and Gionta scored first period, power-play goals as the Devils took the early lead.
With the Devils on a five-on-three advantage, Gomez, waiting in the right circle, took a pass from Paul Martin and skated several strides toward the lower rim before whipping the puck past goalie Jose Theodore at 8:08.
Gomez played a key role on Gionta's tally at 15:49. Martin again found Gomez, this time in the left circle. Gomez fired a shot that Gionta, positioned just outside the crease, deflected by Theodore.
The Devils were cruising along with the 2-0 lead in the second period when the momentum abruptly shifted on a glaring error by Rafalski, who fumbled away the puck deep in his own end.
Plekanec stuffed the turnover into the New Jersey net for an unassisted goal at 7:27. The Devils were still reeling when Zednik took a feed from Koivu, made a nifty move through the Devils' defense and scored only 42 seconds later to pull Montreal even at 2.
The Canadiens took the lead when Koivu drilled a shot between Brodeur's pads at 14:12.
Kozlov tied it 3-3 with 1:21 remaining as Gomez again made the key play by outfighting Montreal defenseman Francis Bouillon for the puck behind the Canadiens goal. Gomez nudged it to Kozlov, who circled out to the left faceoff dot to snap a shot past Theodore.
Montreal coach Claude Julien, while crediting his team for the second-period comeback, pointed the finger at poor penalty killing for the loss.
"We got behind the eight-ball with a couple of penalties that were costly," Julien said. "Our penalty kill wasn't very good. With the new rules and everything being called, your special teams have to be at their best. Ours weren't and that made the
The Devils scratched wingers Jamie Langenbrunner and Alexander Mogilny and defenseman Dan McGillis. New Jersey said that Langenbrunner was sick. Mogilny missed a third straight game with a concussion. ... Center Jan Bulis returned for Montreal after missing four games with a left shoulder injury. ... The Devils had 17 shots in the first period, equaling their season high for a frame. ... Montreal ended a streak of seven straight one-goal games.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: IZOD Center Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Referees: Kerry Fraser, Dean Warren Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Michel Cormier
Attendance: 15,642 (82.2% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Scott Gomez (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Paul Martin, Brian Rafalski
Brian Gionta (11)
(Power Play) Assists: Scott Gomez, Paul Martin
Tomas Plekanec (2)
Richard Zednik (6)
Assists: Saku Koivu, Sheldon Souray
Saku Koivu (8)
Assists: Tomas Plekanec, Craig Rivet
Viktor Kozlov (5)
Assists: Scott Gomez, Richard Matvichuk
Brian Gionta (12)
(Power Play) Assists: Brian Rafalski, Sergei Brylin
John Madden (3)
(Empty Net) Assists: Jay Pandolfo, Brian Gionta