About Last Night: Canadiens beat Coyotes 4-2 to snap losing skid

Sam Montembeault made 36 saves to lead the Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

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The Montreal Canadiens snapped a five-game losing skid with a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Sam Montembeault led the way with a 36-save performance. Joel Armia, Jake Evans and Jordan Harris each collected two points in the win.

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While the Habs ended their losing streak, the Coyotes added to theirs. They’ve now lost 13 straight and sit three points behind Montreal for 27th in league standings. They actually dominated the Canadiens in shots (38-21) and in shot attempts (84-41), but Montembeault kept his team from dropping their sixth in a row.

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Armia scored the lone goal of the first period. All three members of the line — Armia, Alex Newhook, Joshua Roy — made important contributions that ended with Armia beating Connor Ingram on a breakaway for the 1-0 lead.

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In the second, Harris added to Montreal’s lead with a quick goal off the block in the defensive zone. He and Josh Anderson took it down the ice and Harris eventually beat Ingram for the unassisted goal.

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The Coyotes responded less than three minutes later. The puck was behind the net and took a bounce that caught Montembeault going the wrong way, which allowed Alex Kerfoot to tap it in the open cage. Habs lead 2-1 after two periods.

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The Habs remained outshot and out-chanced in the third, but managed to regain a two-goal lead after Harris found Tanner Pearson behind the Coyotes defence. He walked in and scored on a blocker side shot to make it 3-1 Habs.

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Montreal didn’t tighten up at all with the third period lead. They did their best to seemingly let the Coyotes back in the game, starting with a Nick Bjugstad goal that hit Kaiden Guhle and slowly dribbled by a diving Montembeault. The Coyotes were down one with over five minutes to play.

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But that’s as close as the Yotes would get, as Suzuki scored his 23rd of the season with two seconds left on the clock to give his team a 4-2 win on home ice.

Harris’s goal gave the Habs defence their 39th of the season, behind only the Colorado Avalanche for the league lead and tied with the Calgary Flames. Besides the Suzuki empty-netter, it was a quiet night for the top line. Slafkovsky took the game’s first two penalties, both high-sticking calls, but also used his ample frame for good by throwing around Arizona tough guy Liam O’Brien like a rag doll along the end boards. Could the lack of scoring from Caufield and Slafkovsky be the result of no power play time? The Habs didn’t get a power play against the Devils on Saturday, and didn’t get one last night, either.

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The Canadiens now embark on a four-game road trip that takes them to the trade deadline. The liveblog commenters were wondering if this is the last time we’ll see some of these players on home ice. Two of the game’s goal scorers, Joel Armia and Tanner Pearson, could have helped their causes if they’re looking to find new homes on playoff-bound teams. Both are experienced and could help out teams looking for bottom-six depth.

3. “Needed that. My 3 stars. Monty, Harris, Suzuki.” — Mick Chow

2. “We definitely didn’t deserve to win, but someone had to win this game.” — Ryan Katz

1. “Well thank goodness we have Monty. On a positive note every goal scored tonight started in our own end. I hope that’s a start to a transition game. Something this team really needs. PK didn’t look bad tonight, and I have no idea why Harris wasn’t one of the stars. Really good game for him tonight.” — Doug Kirkby

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