Max Pacioretty scores twice as Canadiens beat Coyotes 3-1
Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:40PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:36PM EST
Forward Max Pacioretty scored two goals and goaltender Carey Price stopped 26 shots to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 home win over the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday night.
Phoenix drew first blood six minutes into the first period, when Mikkel Boedker potted his 10th of the season.
It was defenceman Andrei Markov who managed to tie the game early in the third after he sent a slap shot toward the Coyotes’ net that goaltender Mike Smith finally couldn’t handle.
Pacioretty, who hit the post three times in the game, was rewarded with his first goal, the Habs’ second of the game, on the power play midway through the third.
What was likely a pass from the corner of the ice hit the foot of a Coyotes defenceman and beat Phoenix goalie Smith five-hole.
His second goal, an empty-netter, came seconds after Habs defenceman Josh Gorges likely prevented the game from going into overtime.
Left alone in front of his own net, Gorges broke up a 4-on-1, shoving his stick in the way of Martin Hanzal’s shot.
The Habs finished the first period trailing badly in terms of shots, with the Coyotes getting 15 chances on Carey Price while the Canadiens only managed to send three shots Smith’s way.
They gradually closed the deficit, finishing the game with 28 shots compared to Phoenix’s 27.
Early on, the Habs seemed to have benefitted from having Monday off – there were two good scoring chances in the first two minutes.
The first saw Pacioretty streaking in alone, 30 seconds into the game, only to be stopped by Smith.
Later, Travis Moen failed to tip the puck past Smith while he was alone in front.
Moen then tried to send a juicy rebound to the back of the net with a backhand shot that missed the net.
Still, the Habs struggled to build and keep their momentum during the first two periods.
The win extends an impressive streak for the Canadiens, who haven't lost to the Coyotes in 15 years.
Coming off of a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers Sunday, Montreal has been from an offensive outage of late, scoring just three goals in their last four games before Tuesday night.
Beginning Thursday, the Canadiens will embark on a six-game road trip concluding Jan. 4, 2014, when they return to the Bell Centre to face the Ottawa Senators.