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ARI@MTL: About Monday night…

The Canadiens' power play struggles proved costly against the Coyotes

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Here are a few key storylines from Monday night's 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre.

Power outage

The Canadiens had the ideal start for a hockey club looking to secure their first four-game winning streak of the season.

Goals by Jake Evans and Brendan Gallagher had Claude Julien's contingent up 2-0 just under two minutes into the first period.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Gally a besoin de personne pour marquer. Gally can score goals solo.#GoHabsGo

Unfortunately, that's where the goal scoring stopped.

The Canadiens couldn't solve goaltender Antti Raanta the rest of the way, failing to find the back of the net on six power play opportunities - including a two-man advantage late in the opening frame that carried into the second stanza.

That ultimately came back to bite them in the end.

"The power play, in general, wasn't good enough. You get that many opportunities, you have to score. You have to find a way to build momentum," said Gallagher, who registered his 19th goal of the season. "We didn't do that, and we got the result we deserved."

Video: Brendan Gallagher on a tough loss to Arizona

It didn't help that Gallagher and company took their fair share of penalties as well.

They were called for six minors, and the last infraction called on Joel Armia late in regulation proved costly.

With 60 seconds left, Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun's point blast beat Carey Price to seal the come-from-behind victory for Arizona.

"You can't take that many penalties and put that much work on your penalty kill and on Carey to make those kinds of saves," said defenseman Ben Chiarot. "It's going to be tough when you're short-handed that much."

Video: Ben Chiarot on failing to capitalize against Arizona

Speaking of Price, the seven-time All-Star was outstanding again in between the pipes with a 31-save performance. 

Good for you, Jake!

No doubt Evans would've liked to score his first career NHL goal in a winning effort, but he was still rather pleased with his accomplishment.

The 23-year-old Toronto native found the back of the net in just his third game with the big club, sliding a rebound past Raanta at the 51-second mark.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Un premier but dans la LNH pour Jake Evans!Jake Evans scores his first NHL goal!#GoHabsGo

"It was just chills and I just wanted to scream, honestly. I was just so excited," said Evans, regarding his early tally. "I'm really happy I got that one and it's a dream come true."

His plan for the special puck is simple.

"I think they're going to frame it, so I'll keep that," mentioned Evans with a smile. "It'll be nice."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: ������#GoHabsGo

In his short time with Montreal, the University of Notre Dame grad has already grasped the group's commitment to making a real playoff push.

And he'd love to keep on contributing to the cause, of course, by earning every second of his ice time shift after shift.

Coming up short this time around, though, really stung.

"I've only been here for a few days, but to see how bad these guys want to get back in the race and how bad they want to get in the playoffs, it's definitely a devastating loss," admitted Evans. "I think we just let that one slip away."

Another man down

The last thing the Canadiens needed on Monday night was to lose another valuable soldier.

But, it happened. During the second period, Phillip Danault was struck by a puck in the face that forced him to leave the contest for good.

The initial shot was taken by Tomas Tatar, and it ricocheted off a Coyotes player before hitting Danault up high.

"I felt sorry," said Tatar, who was distraught to witness Danault down on the ice and bleeding. "That's something you don't want to see, and we lost a big player for the rest of the game."

While there was no immediate update on Danault's condition, we should learn more when the Canadiens practice at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday morning before flying to Boston to begin a two-game road trip.

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