GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Montreal Canadiens finally got their power play rolling.
Marc-Andre Bergeron and Glen Metropolit scored 1:02 apart in the third period, the second goal on the power play, and Carey Price made 18 saves in the Canadiens’ 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.
“In the NHL, it’s pretty much how you win games,” Bergeron said. “We wanted to focus on the power play and penalty kill and they gave us the win.”
Michael Cammalleri had a power-play goal, Brian Gionta also scored, and Tomas Plekanec had three assists for Montreal. The Canadiens snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the third time in eight games.
Montreal was a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play after scoring only once in its past 16 chances over six games.
“There are two factors in determining a game – special teams and goaltending,” coach Jacques Martin said. “Both of them tonight were key factors.”
Paul Bissonnette scored his first career goal, and Robert Lang also scored for Phoenix. The Coyotes have lost four of five.
“We struggled moving the puck out of our end, we struggled moving the puck through the neutral zone and we didn’t generate a whole lot,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “There were not a lot of shots and not a lot of quality scoring opportunities.”
Bergeron made it 2-1 at 5:10 of the third after Plekanec won a faceoff to the left of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Bergeron circled back to the blue-line before striding to the top of the left circle and firing a wrist shot just under the crossbar.
Metropolit made it 3-1 at 6:12, standing untouched on the right doorstep and taking a pass from Plekanec before flipping the puck into the net.
Bissonnette pulled the Coyotes within a goal at 9:30, redirecting Shaun Heshka’s long shot past Price. Replays indicated Bissonnette had directed the puck into the net with his skate, but video officials upheld the score after a lengthy review.
Gionta added an empty-netter with 41.8 seconds to go.
“We gave them a few opportunities and they buried them,” Lang said.
Cammalleri gave Montreal a 1-0 lead at 7:07 of the first period, taking a pass from Plekanec just to the right of Bryzgalov and scoring before defenceman James Vandermeer was able to get in position.
“Usually when you make two passes of that calibre on the power play, the puck’s going to end up in the back of the net,” Cammalleri said.
Lang tied it at 10:54 of the period after Price was knocked backward by the stick of teammate Paul Mara. Lang took a pass from Radim Vrbata from behind the net and shot into the open top of the net as Price lay prone on the ice.
“I got it right in my jugular,” Price said. “Sometimes you can’t really see anything. You’re trying to battle and trying to watch your guy and sticks go everywhere.”
Notes: The announced attendance was 10,064, the fourth-highest total in nine home games this season. … Heshka’s assist was his first NHL point. … The Coyotes have lost two straight for the fourth time but have yet to lose three in a row. … Montreal has not lost in Phoenix since Dec. 9, 1998. The Canadiens are 10-2-4 against the Coyotes since the franchise moved to Phoenix before the 1996-97 season. … Phoenix defencemen Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek missed the game because of lower-body injuries.