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Canadian Press
11/4/2006 9:36:05 PM

MONTREAL (CP) - Martin Brodeur made 33 saves as the New Jersey Devils gave coach Claude Julien a 2-1 win over Montreal on Saturday night in his first game back since he was fired by the Canadiens last season.

Jay Pandolfo and Brian Rafalski scored for the Devils (7-5-1), who have won three of their last four games.

Chris Higgins countered with his eighth of the season for Montreal (7-3-3), which ended a run of four games with at least one point.

Cristobal Huet made 27 saves for the Canadiens, including a glove save on a Jamie Langenbrunner breakaway in the third period.

Julien got polite applause from the sellout crowd of 21,273. He was fired after three years in Montreal last January when GM Bob Gainey opted to take over as head coach until Guy Carbonneau moved into the job this season.

The teams were each a man short when Pandolfo opened the scoring at 12:29, completing a tic-tac-toe play with Colin White and John Madden with a shot into an open side.

A puck wildly bouncing in the crease ended up on Rafalski's stick for a power-play goal - the first allowed by Montreal's penalty killers in 22 chances- at 10:52 of the second frame.

But Higgins got it back with the man advantage when his tip of Craig Rivet's shot dribbled between Brodeur's pads at 13:46.

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