Coyotes rally to beat Canadiens 5-4 for first regulation win
MONTREAL (AP) Montreal coach Claude Julien called the Canadiens’ loss to the lowly Arizona Coyotes ”embarrassing.”
The Canadiens blew three leads and the Coyotes won 5-4 on Thursday night for their first regulation victory of the season. Derek Stepan and Christian Fischer scored power-play goals in the third period for Arizona.
”It’s more embarrassing than frustrating,” Julien said. ”Unacceptable, especially given how we played in the first period. To be unable to remain concentrated for the next two periods. We’ve been talking about this team for two days, that we had to be careful. Very disappointing from us tonight.”
The last-place Coyotes (3-15-3), who have the worst goals-per-game ratio in the NHL, scored five goals for the first time this season. They had a combined five goals in their previous four games.
”This is what we were doing early on in the season when we were losing games,” said Brendan Gallagher, who scored Montreal’s first goal. ”We had to learn that lesson early on, but we fell back into some old habits. We get sloppy and take our foot off the gas pedal. We didn’t work.”
Stepan tied it at 4 with a wrist shot from the crease at 4:54 of the third following a failed clearance by Jordie Benn. Gallagher was in the box for tripping.
Arizona scored again on the power play at 10:10, this time with Shea Weber penalized for slashing, when Brendan Perlini’s shot ricocheted off Fischer’s stick and in for the winner.
”The win is huge but the way we won is even better,” Fischer said. ”We were so resilient the way we played, with contributions from top to bottom. We had a couple of good fights, which sparked us. Just an awesome team win.”
Brad Richardson, Christian Dvorak and Tobias Rieder also scored for the Coyotes, and Antti Raanta made 33 saves. Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak.
Weber, Paul Byron and Joe Morrow also scored for the Canadiens.
NOTES: The Canadiens are 2-2-1 on a six-game homestand that ends Saturday against Toronto. … Goaltender Antti Niemi, claimed off waivers by the Canadiens on Tuesday, was Lindgren’s backup.
Coyotes: At Ottawa on Saturday night.
Canadiens: Host Toronto on Saturday night.
For more NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey