No one willed the Devils towards a victory more than defenseman Anton Volchenkov.

Throwing himself in front of shots, he took a blast from Evander Kane in the back at 2:15 of the third period. Then, he took a Zach Bogosian shot in the foot that required X-rays, which were negative.

“That’s classic Volchy there,” said captain Bryce Salvador.

Few would have finished the game.

“The shot in the back hurt a little bit,” Volchenkov said. “It was a pretty hard shot. The one in the foot, it’s an accident. They took X-rays and I’m all right.”

He may have been the difference.

“He was outstanding,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “When he’s on his game like that he’s a real presence out there with his physical play. To stand in front of some of the shots he stands in front of takes a lot of courage.”

It was a big night for the Gionta boys.

Brian Gionta scored a goal for the Montreal Canadiens and Stephen scored the Devils’ second goal on a nice move which allowed him to put a shot through goalie Ondrej Pavelec’s pads.

“(Brian’s) probably went off the defenseman or something,” Stephen joked.

The Devils eventually won in a shootout.

“It’s huge,” Gionta said. “We talked about it before the game. There was that playoff-type atmosphere. I think that’s a huge win for us mentally.”