While the New Jersey Devils have teetered the ledge but just won't drop off, the Colorado Avalanche are in danger of losing their footing.
The once-hot Devils have lessened the blow of a slump and look for back-to-back wins for the first time in more than two weeks when the slumping Avalanche visit Tuesday night.
New Jersey (12-9-2) was one of the hottest teams in the league with wins in 10 of 13 games from the middle of October into mid-November. The Devils cooled off, however, with losses in three of four, and it seemed as if a home-and-home set against Montreal would continue the spiral.
First, New Jersey blew a third-period lead at home before falling 3-2 in a shootout on Friday, and then trailed 2-0 midway through the final period at Montreal on Saturday.
But Patrik Elias and Kyle Palmieri tied it in the third, the latter goal coming with 22 seconds left, and John Moore scored 2:29 into overtime for a 3-2 victory.
''We stuck to a game plan that we thought was going to work,'' forward Mike Cammalleri said. ''It took longer than you hope for but we got the two points we really needed.''
The Devils have remained afloat in the Eastern Conference with 26 points, their most through 23 games since opening 2009-10 with 33.
Goaltender Cory Schneider has been solid in net, and he continued his consistent play against the Canadiens. In the pair of games against Montreal, the veteran stopped 55 of 59 shots. He has a .937 save percentage in his last 12 starts.
Schneider's .947 save percentage in 13 appearances against Colorado is tied for third best against any team in his career. He holds a 1.64 GAA against the Avalanche while holding them to two goals or fewer in nine of 12 starts.
The Avalanche have controlled this series, though, with a 7-0-1 record in the last eight meetings, including 3-0-1 in New Jersey.
Last-place Colorado (9-14-1) has lost four of its last five away from home, the most recent road defeat a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday to open a four-game trip.
Jarome Iginla, Nick Holden and Blake Comeau scored, but the Avalanche fell for the fifth time in seven games while surrendering at least five goals for the third time in the last five.
Semyon Varlamov allowed two goals early in the third period and the Islanders added an empty-netter - the three tallies coming on just seven shots.
''It's a game I thought we could've had,'' said Iginla, whose goal snapped an eight-game personal drought. ''and it didn't happen.''
Varlamov's performance might be comparative to his season as he turned aside 13 of 14 shots during a New York barrage in the second period but surrendered the two goals to the Islanders' fourth line in the third. The former Vezina Trophy finalist holds a career-high 3.28 GAA and career-low .887 save percentage while playing through a groin injury early this season.
Varlamov, though, has won four straight starts against New Jersey with a 1.20 GAA. It is unclear if Varlamov or backup Reto Berra will start.