Canadiens’ Sergei Kostitsyn battles for the puck
with Coyotes’ Zbynek Michalek in the
first period on Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz.
The Phoenix Coyotes had more bite than the Canadiens for most of Thursday night’s game, but Montreal was able to steal two points after the Coyotes got into penalty trouble in the third period that allowed the Canadiens to pot a pair of power-play goals as the Canadiens scored three times in the third to win 4-2.
And they can thank Carey Price for this one as the rookie netminder made 37 stops to keep his team in this one. He was able to rebound from a shaky performance in San Jose on Monday night.
The Canadiens win, combined with the loss of the Pittsburgh Penguins, allowed Montreal to catch the Penguins at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with 83 points.
Sergei Kostitsyn capped off the game with a highlight goal on a two-on-one with Christopher Higgins. Kostitsyn came down the wing and fed Higgins, who was able to feed the puck back to Kostitsyn through the crease for an easy goal into a wide open net.
Captain Saku Koivu scored 6:38 into the third period to tie the game at 2-2 after the Coyotes had taken the lead a few minutes earlier on a goal by Zbynek Michalek, who beat price from an odd angle.
Andrei Markov scored the eventual game winner 10:07 into the period on a nice pass from Alex Kovalev, who reached a milestone earlier in the night when he recorded his 500th career assist as Tomas Plekanec opened the scoring in the second period. Kovalev would finish the night with three assists.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who is Price’s cousin, was able to get one past the Canadiens goaltender as he redirected a point shot from Ed Jovanovski with Maxim Lapierre in the penalty box for high-sticking. Lapierre took back-to-back double minors for high-sticking in the second period, but luckily, the Canadiens gave up only the one goal.
Price was able to get the better of Doan later in the period as Price stoned his cousin on a breakaway.
In a scoreless first period, the Canadiens were outshot 14-5 and they didn’t fare any better in the second as the Coyotes dominated 16-8 on the shot clock. Phoenix finished the game with a 39-20 shot advantage.
Mikael Tellqvist was in nets for the Coyotes, making 17 saves.
The Canadiens now head back to California for games against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks during the weekend.