Canadiens beat Coyotes in Galchenyuk’s return
MONTREAL (AP) — The MVPs for the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night never touched the ice.
For coach Claude Julien, this win was as much a credit to his video replay coaches as anybody else.
Mike Reilly scored in the third period, Carey Price made 30 saves and Montreal turned away Galchenyuk in a return to his old city.
It looked like Galchenyuk had tied it with 3:39 left when he beat Price with a no-look shot on the power play. The Canadiens challenged successfully for offsides, and the goal was overturned.
All a credit to video replay coaches Mario Leblanc and Eric Gravel, Julien noted.
“Every time the puck crosses the blue line, they check the replay,” he said. “Good work on their part. They deserve all the credit because I didn’t see it. They said it was offside and they showed it to me. That saved us.”
If the challenge had failed, Montreal would have been given a two-minute penalty.
“From the bench it was tough to see,” captain Shea Weber said. “The guys on the ice said it was possibly offside. That was the difference in the game right there.”
“That’s a good eye,” Price added.
Jonathan Drouin also scored for the Canadiens, who have won five of six.
Price earned his 20th victory of the season. He has stopped 133 of the last 137 shots he’s faced during a four-game personal winning streak.
Reilly put Montreal ahead 2-1 with a one-timer from the point 4:48 into the third.
Galchenyuk was the Canadiens’ first-round draft pick in 2012 and played six seasons with Montreal. This was his first game in Montreal since being traded to the Coyotes for Max Domi on June 15. The 24-year-old was honored with a video tribute during a commercial break in the first period. Both Galchenyuk and Domi were held pointless.
The Canadiens got on the board first when their league-worst power play scored against Arizona’s league-best penalty kill.
After a scramble in front of the goal, Tomas Tatar jumped on a loose puck and fed Drouin, who snapped a nine-game goalless drought with a wrist shot at 9:29 of the first period.
The home team could have easily scored a second or third goal, but Pickard was up to the challenge.
Pickard made two big saves to start the second period — point blank on Joel Armia in the slot with his mask before denying Victor Mete with the outstretched pad seconds later. The 26-year-old later stopped Armia on the breakaway.
“Credit to our guys,” said Pickard, who was playing his 99th NHL game. “We battled so hard. Back-to-back, coming into a tough environment and we were right there until the end. These guys deserve a lot of credit.”
Garland tied it at 18:28 of the second period while playing with the man advantage. Garland was left all alone at the side of the net after Artturi Lehkonen was forced to sprint to the bench because of a broken stick.
NOTES: Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson (lower-body injury sustained last game) did not play. … With the All-Star break followed by a bye week, the Canadiens don’t play again until Feb. 2.
Coyotes: Play at San Jose on Saturday night.
Canadiens: Host New Jersey on Feb. 2.