The Montreal Canadiens started their road trip off right, winning 4-1 off of goals by Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber, Nick Cousins and Jonathan Drouin.
It was a special night for Max Domi and Nick Cousins as they returned to Arizona to take on their former team. However, there was a lot more sentimental value revolving around Brendan Gallagher, who suited up for his 500th NHL game. Not many players from the 2010 NHL Draft have played as many games, and to see Gallagher do it as a fifth-round pick is uplifting for the Montreal Canadiens.
So it’s only fitting that Gallagher would score first in the opening minute of the match.
On the offensive rush, Shea Weber skated the puck into the zone along the right wall, trying to find Tomas Tatar in the slot. The puck went off Tatar, hitting Jason Demer’s skate in front who was in a battle with Gallagher. The puck trickled out to the 500-game man who sent it past Antti Raanta 22 seconds into the opening period.
The Habs continued to push on to Arizona with Jonathan Drouin standing out and winning puck battles. One of them, in particular, got Montreal a powerplay as Ilya Lyubushkin went off for tripping. The downside was that the Habs couldn’t double up on their lead while Tomas Tatar went off later on for slashing Clayton Keller. That was his 14th penalty minute of the season so far, something he needs to clean up.
Speaking of doubling up, Shea Weber made it 2-0 for the Montreal Canadiens after a funny malfunction for Raanta. The Coyotes goaltender as betrayed by his pop-in skate blades that came out to start the period. Raanta wound up being nowhere near the net, allowing Victor Mete to set up Weber for the open net goal.
A scary moment took place for Carey Price later in the period. Derek Stepan charged the net with Weber on his heels. Stepan lost his footing, trying to move the puck to his backhand and wound up clipping Price in the head with his skate in the process.
Price was down for a bit but stood up and looked ready to complete. It took the wind out the fanbase considering Price’s history with head injuries.
The third period began, and the Montreal Canadiens continued their trend established this game. Their first goal was scored 22 seconds in while the second took 24. Nick Cousins got a bit of revenge, making it 3-0 1:17 into the final frame.
Nick Suzuki returned the favour from his first NHL goal setting up Cousins perfectly. The 2017 first-round pick is looking more and more confident as the games fly by and seeing him generate despite playing on the fourth line speaks to his talents as a player.
Unfortunately, the Montreal Canadiens allowed the Coyotes to get into the game. Arizona got a rare 5-on-2 chance. Joel Armia got beat along the right wall as Alex Goligoski moved away from his reach. It was a bad look for Drouin, who let Jacob Chychrun coast to the front of the net uncontested for the tap-in.
Drouin made up for it seven minutes later in another funny moment. Ben Chiarot chipped the puck to Armia all the way from the defensive zone and got a low shot on Raanta. The puck made its way to the other side of the net and went off Demer’s stick, but Drouin got the final touch before it went in. Drouin and Armia had a fun little argument on the bench on who got the final touch though it was a 4-1 hockey game for the Montreal Canadiens either way.
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The Montreal Canadiens had a handful of turnovers in the latter half of the third period, especially in the neutral zone, but Price was steady for the rest of the game. Again, something that is very comforting given the incident earlier in the game.
The Habs extend their win streak against the Arizona Coyotes to three games, and it’s now off to Vegas.