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Arizona Coyotes start strong, hang on to beat Montreal Canadiens

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After a great first period, the Arizona Coyotes do just enough to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

And...exhale.

The Arizona Coyotes got that fast start they have been looking for, but nearly gave it away in a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Arizona: Martin Hanzal is the beneficiary of a tremendous individual effort by Anthony Duclair, who intercepted an errant Montreal pass in the neutral zone, and curled the puck all the way around the net to give Hanzal an easy tap-in goal. Assist to Duclair on the goal at 5:04.

2-0 Arizona: Not content with one, the Coyotes got a second goal on a three on two. Tobias Rieder took a shot on the far side that Mike Condon was unable to corral, and Shane Doan batted the puck out of the air for his fifth of the season. Assists to Rieder and Mike Smith on the goal at 9:17.

Second Period

3-0 Arizona: Oliver Ekman-Larsson extended his point streak to seven on the power play by sneaking in to the center of the offensive zone. He picked up the second of two botched clearing attempts to give the Coyotes a three goal lead. No assists were given on the power play goal at 3:51.

3-1 Arizona: Montreal finally got on the board thanks to a broken outlet play by the Coyotes. Max Pacioretty scored his 10th goal of the year to give the Habs some life going into the third period. Assists to Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec on the goal at 15:59.

Third Period

3-2 Arizona: Like the Coyotes did against the Islanders Monday night, the Habs made the game interesting in the dying minutes of the third period. Dale Weise capped off a sustained barrage of shots by the Canadiens to bring the score to within one. Assists to Andrei Markov and Max Pacioretty on the goal at 19:09.

Stat Report

Arizona Coyotes Montreal Canadiens
First Period Shots 5 13
Second Period Shots 8 6
Third Period Shots 7 14
Total Shots 20 33
Power Plays 1 for 2 0 for 5
Faceoff Wins 35 32
Save Percentage .939 .850


Paw Prints

  • For the Montreal perspective, check out Eyes On The Prize.
  • Steve Downie, John Scott, and Stefan Elliott were the odd men out tonight.
  • The Coyotes needed to be opportunistic tonight early on if they wanted a lead. Two goals on four shots later, and they clearly were.
  • Arizona blocked 21 shots tonight. Your leaders with three apiece were Oliver Ekman-Larsson and...Mikkel Boedker?
  • Craig Cunningham was the lone Coyote to play fewer than 10 minutes tonight.
  • In what might come as a minor surprise, Max Domi only played 12:37 tonight, while Anthony Duclair only played 11:24. Is Dave Tippett being more judicious with how often his youngsters play?
  • With a goal and an assist tonight, Max Pacioretty extended his own point streak to six games.

Looking Ahead

Arizona moves on to Winnipeg next for a Saturday night tilt with the Jets. Puck drop is at 5 PM Arizona time.