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Montréal
Canadiens
41-30-7-4
Phoenix
Coyotes
22-36-18-6

25 SOG
24 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MTL
PHX
game recap

Montréal Canadiens 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Montréal Canadiens 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3 FINAL
Montréal Canadiens 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ From Jose Theodore's viewpoint, the Montreal Canadiens played just well enough to beat Phoenix _ and stay on New Jersey's heels for sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Theodore made 21 saves, and Saku Koivu and Richard Zednik each had a goal and an assist in Montreal's 4-3 win over the Coyotes on Friday night. The two points gave the Canadiens 78 to New Jersey's 81 with another big contest coming up Saturday night in Los Angeles.

``Back-to-back games this time of year, you've got to play well, and points are really important,'' Theodore said. ``I don't think tonight we played the kind of game we wanted to play, which is a playoff type of game. We got some penalties that could have cost us.''

Special teams sparkled for Montreal, which got power-play goals from Pierre Dagenais and Koivu and a short-handed goal from Jim Dowd in his first game with the Canadiens. Andrei Markov had two assists, and they won again after seeing a five-game winning streak snapped Wednesday at San Jose.

The debut wasn't as fortunate for Alex Kovalev, another forward seeing his first action for the Habs. He separated his right shoulder in the second period and was listed as day to day.

``It's frustrating for sure,'' Theodore said. ``You got one of the top guys in the league, and he gets hurt.''

Daymond Langkow, Mike Comrie and Chris Gratton scored for Phoenix.

The Coyotes, winless in seven games (0-4-1-2) tried to rally from a 4-1 deficit in the third period and fell short.

Zednik produced the three-goal lead when he shot from the high slot after a pass from Markov, beating Brian Boucher 43 seconds in.

``It ended up being the winning goal,'' coach Claude Julien said. ``That type of game, we should have controlled it from there on in, but for the second game in a row we took some bad penalties, so we certainly have to get better in that area.''

Comrie made it 4-2 just 2:15 later, and Gratton scored a power-play goal at the 4:05 mark.

But the Canadiens allowed the Coyotes just four more shots the rest of the way, and Theodore handled them for the win.

``For whatever reason, we seem to play desperate when we get down a couple of goals, and we need to play like that at the start,'' Langkow said.

After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens scored three times in the second.

They broke through against Boucher, who had 10 of his 21 saves in the first period, when Dagenais deflected Markov's wrist shot 2:46 in.

Phoenix responded 40 seconds later when Langkow wristed a rebound over a fallen Theodore, but Montreal regained the lead with 6:29 remaining on a brilliant play by Andreas Dackell.

He stole the puck from Shane Doan along the boards, skated into the left circle and passed across to Dowd at the crease. Dowd, acquired Thursday from Minnesota, redirected the puck just enough to bank it in off the opposite goal post.

``Dacks made a great play there,'' Dowd said. ``I drove to the net. It was on his forehand. I knew he was going to try to pass. The defense played it well, and he made a great backhand pass just right at my tape end.''

Koivu also profited from a mistake by Phoenix's captain _ Doan was in the penalty box for slashing when the Finnish center's shot from above the circle found its way through Boucher's pads with 4:24 to go.

``I know it looks like four goals on 25 shots, but I felt better about my game,'' said Boucher, 1-12-2 in his last 15 starts.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
02:46
MTL
PPG - Pierre Dagenais (14) Tip-in - ASST: Andrei Markov (19), Patrice Brisebois (22)
1 - 0 MTL
03:46
PHX
Daymond Langkow (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Bryan Helmer (1)
1 - 1 Tie
06:29
MTL
SHG - Jim Dowd (5) Tip-in - ASST: Andreas Dackell (8)
2 - 1 MTL
15:36
MTL
PPG - Saku Koivu (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Yanic Perreault (12), Richard Zednik (19)
3 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
00:47
MTL
Richard Zednik (21) Snap shot - ASST: Andrei Markov (20), Saku Koivu (34)
4 - 1 MTL
02:58
PHX
Mike Comrie (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Cale Hulse (16)
4 - 2 MTL
04:05
PHX
PPG - Chris Gratton (11) Tip-in - ASST: Daymond Langkow (29), Paul Mara (29)
4 - 3 MTL
penalty summary
1st Period
06:54
PHX
Daniel Cleary  Hooking - Obstruction
07:10
PHX
Daymond Langkow  Hi-sticking against  Mike Ribeiro
11:02
PHX
Brian Savage  Tripping against  Darren Langdon
15:37
MTL
Mike Ribeiro  Hooking against  Cale Hulse
18:56
MTL
Alex Kovalev  Hooking - Obstruction
2nd Period
02:39
PHX
Tyson Nash  Interference - Obstruction
05:35
MTL
Pierre Dagenais  Holding stick - Obstruction
09:30
MTL
Pierre Dagenais  Elbowing against  Daymond Langkow
14:24
PHX
Shane Doan  Slashing against  Jim Dowd
3rd Period
01:07
PHX
Ossi Vaananen  Holding the stick against  Mike Ribeiro
02:26
MTL
Pierre Dagenais  Too many men/ice - bench
03:56
MTL
Francis Bouillon  Slashing against  Daymond Langkow
06:48
MTL
Mike Ribeiro  Hi-sticking against  Daniel Cleary
goalie stats
Jose Theodore
SA: 24TOI: 59:46
Saves: 21EV: 17 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .875SH: 0 - 0
Brian Boucher
SA: 25TOI: 58:36
Saves: 21EV: 15 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 7
SV%: .840SH: 1 - 2