Arizona Coyotes cap first-ever sweep of Montreal Canadiens

By Craig Morgan, The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 16, 2016 at 12:46 AM
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have three players who grew up near Montreal. Each of them took turns torturing the Canadiens before 14,338 fans on Monday at Gila River Arena.

Rookie right winger Anthony Duclair had a goal and an assist, goaltender Louis Domingue made 17 saves, and veteran center Antoine Vermette added a goal as the Coyotes swept the two-game season series against Montreal with a 6-2 win.

The Arizona franchise, formerly the Winnipeg Jets, swept the Canadiens for the first time.

"I grew up rooting for them; I was a big Habs fan," Duclair said. "I didn't go to too many games because it was hard to get tickets, but every time I went, my eyes would pop out, so it was pretty special to get one (goal) against them."

Thirteen players recorded points for Arizona, which also got goals from centers Martin Hanzal and Brad Richardson and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Kevin Connauton. Hanzal and Ekman-Larsson added two assists apiece.

With the win, Arizona (26-24-6, 58 points) eclipsed its point total from all of last season (56).

Left winger Dale Weise and right winger Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal (27-26-4). Goalie Mike Condon made 22 saves for the Canadiens, who are 10-22-2 since starter Carey Price sustained a knee injury on Nov. 25.

"As long as you can't make good reads defensively, you don't check well and you have no chance to win," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "I was disappointed with the response we had."

Arizona wasted little time giving Domingue a lead when Hanzal redirected defenseman Michael Stone's shot from the point past Condon at 4:47 of the first period. It was Hanzal's third goal in his past four games and his ninth of the season.

Montreal tied the game at the 9:02 mark when right winger Jacob De La Rose circled the net and fed Weise for a tap-in at the far post. It was Weise's 13th goal of the season.

Arizona retook the lead when Hanzal fished the rebound of Ekman-Larsson's shot off Condon's pads and fed Duclair at the far post for the rookie's 16th goal of the season at 15:48 of the first period. Duclair has notched at least a point in all four of his career games against Montreal.

The Coyotes widened the lead to 3-1 just 24 seconds into four-on-four play when Richardson beat the Montreal defense and wrapped a puck around Condon at the 8:04 mark of the second period.

Montreal answered two minutes and two seconds later when Gallagher beat Domingue between the pads from the right wing at 10:06 for his 15th goal of the season.

Ekman-Larsson restored the Coyotes' two-goal when his shot from the right point struck the crossbar and dropped into the net at 11:52 on the power play with Duclair providing a screen. Montreal looked lifeless from that point on.

"There's a lot of hockey left to be played," Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban said. "We didn't bring enough today. We just didn't do enough to win a hockey game."

Connauton gave the Coyotes an insurance goal when he took a cross-ice feed from left winger Kyle Chipchura and beat Condon inside the near post as he was falling to the ice for a 5-2 lead at 15:30 of the second period. It was just Connauton's second career NHL point.

Vermette capped the scoring when deked Condon to the ice and slid the puck in the far side at 4:19 of the third period.

"We were pretty solid," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "It was a pretty good team effort all the way through."

NOTES: Coyotes D Jarred Tinordi faced the Canadiens for the first time since Montreal traded him to Arizona on Jan. 15 for D Victor Bartley and LW John Scott. Montreal drafted Tinordi with its first-round pick (22nd overall) in 2010.. ... Canadiens D Nathan Beaulieu was back in the lineup after missing Friday's game against Buffalo with a lower-body injury. ... Coyotes backup G Anders Lindback sustained an off-ice injury Monday prior to warmups for Arizona's game against Montreal. The Coyotes said the medical staff would evaluate him and provide an update Tuesday. In Lindback's absence, GM Don Maloney accessed his list of emergency goalies -- every team has a list -- and activated Nathan Schoenfeld to serve as Louis Domingue's backup against Montreal. Schoenfeld is the son of ex-Coyotes coach and current New York Rangers assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld. He is also the son-in-law of Coyotes equipment manager Stan Wilson. He plays in a local men's league.

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