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'Yotes Notes: Rinaldo Fight Triggered Rally, 'Team Win'

The Coyotes trailed Montreal, 2-0, but won, 5-4, thanks to epic comeback

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

MONTREAL -- The Coyotes spotted the Montreal Canadiens a 2-0 lead, then rallied to earn an inspiring 5-4 victory at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.

Ten members of the Coyotes notched at least one point in the game, in which Arizona scored a season-high five goals. Christian Fischer and Christian Dvorak led the way offensively with a goal and an assist each, and goalie Antti Raanta made 33 saves.

"Obviously the win is huge, but the way we won is even better," said Fischer, who tallied the game-winning goal from in front of the net during a power play at 10:10 of the third period. "We were so resilient with the way we played and got contributions from top to bottom. We were rolling. It was an awesome team win."

Video: Fischer: 'Awesome Way We Won'

• Arizona trailed 2-0 after one period. Early in the second, Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves with Canadiens forward Nicolas Deslauriers and absorbed some powerful punches from the bigger man to the delight of the Canadiens fans. The fight, however, sparked the Coyotes, who then tied the score, 2-2, less than nine minutes after the bout.

After the game, teammates awarded Rinaldo, who played just 5:34, the Game MVP Belt.

"Sometimes you've just got to sacrifice, and I don't mind doing that," Rinaldo told FOX Sports Arizona. "I'll do that a hundred more times for this tieam if that's what we need. I did what I did and we reacted from it, and I'm really proud of this team for the way they reacted from that fight."

Tweet from @FOXSPORTSAZ: Who gets the belt? The guy who made the biggest sacrifice: @Rinaldo_Zac. @ArizonaCoyotes

• Despite Rinaldo's fight and goals by Brad Richardson and Christian Dvorak in the second period, Arizona still trailed, 3-2, after 40 minutes. Another fight, this one pitting Brad Richardson vs. Tomas Plekanec immediately after the second period expired, also provided a lift to the Coyotes; Tobias Rieder notched his fourth goal of the season less than a minute into the third to draw the Coyotes even for a second time.

"It just feels great (to win)," Rieder said. "We've been talking a lot over the last couple of weeks and we realize it's enough talking, everything was said and now we've just got to go out there and do it. And I'm really proud of the team coming back after a 2-0 deficit. That's hard to do on the road and I'm really proud we accomplished that."

• Trailing 4-3, Derek Stepan scored a game-tying power-play goal at 4:54 of the third period, ending a stretch of 13 games without goal for the team's key off-season acquistion at forward.

"The puck's been allergic to me," Stepan said. "I haven't found that bounce I got tonight on my goal. It's never easy when you're going through a rough drought, especially when your team's losing because you want to do anything you can to help win. You beat yourself up, but it's a relief to finally find one in the back of the net."

Video: Stepan: 'Puck's Been Allergic to Me'

• The victory was Arizona's first in regulation this season, and its third in the past four games played at the fabled Bell Centre.

Montreal threatened to tie the score late in the game during a power play that resulted from a tripping call against Dvorak at 17:42. With goalie Charlie Lindgren on the bench, the Canadiens pressured Arizona heavily. But Raanta, who made a dazzling pad save just before the penalty, and his teammates stood tall during the penalty kill. 

Video: ARI@MTL: Raanta robs Galchenyuk to preserve lead

"I've got to give the guys a lot of credit," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "The last 40 (minutes) there were fights, there were penalties, there were guys blocking shots. There was a little bit of everything tonight, so that's what you have to do to win." 

Video: Tocchet: 'We Gutted It Out'

• Per Elias Sports: The Coyotes overcame three separate deficits of at least one goal to win for the first time since March 4, 2013 vs. Anaheim.

• Playing in his hometown, Anthony Duclair notched one assist, took two shots on goal and blocked two shots. Duclair is averaging a point per game (one goal, five assists) in six career games vs. Montreal.

Clayton Keller assisted on Fischer's game-winning goal to end a four-game point-less streak. Keller leads the Coyotes and all NHL rookies with 18 points.

• Defenseman Joel Hanley skated 8:39 in his debut with Arizona after being recalled from the American Hockey League on Nov. 5. The game was the 18th of Hanley's NHL career. He played the first 17 for Montreal.

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