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game recap

Coyotes defeat Canadiens for first regulation win

Stepan, Fischer score power-play goals in third to lift Arizona

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Christian Fischer scored the tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period and the Arizona Coyotes got their first regulation win in 21 games this season with a 5-4 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Derek Stepan scored an unassisted power-play goal at 4:54 of the third to tie the game at 4-4. Fischer scored on a deflection at 10:10 to give the Coyotes their first lead at 5-4.

"Obviously the win is huge, but the way we won is even better," Fischer said. "We were so resilient with the way we played, contributions from top to bottom."


[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Canadiens highlights]


The two previous wins by Arizona this season came in overtime (Oct. 30; 4-3 at Philadelphia Flyers) and in a shootout (Nov. 4; 2-1 vs. Carolina Hurricanes).

"It's the one you need," Stepan said. "It's the win that can push you in the right direction, it's a win that I thought we had a really good team effort. I always say when you win a hockey game, it doesn't matter, everyone played good, and I think this holds good here today. Our goaltender was rock solid and I thought we had a lot of guys going."

Brad Richardson, Christian Dvorak and Tobias Rieder scored in the second period for Arizona (3-15-3), which trailed 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3 before rallying to end a five-game losing streak (0-3-2). Antti Raanta made 33 saves.

Video: ARI@MTL: Gallagher dekes to tally slick backhander

"I think the last nine minutes was the longest in a long time for me," Raanta said.

Brendan Gallagher, Paul Byron, Joe Morrow and Shea Weber scored for Montreal (8-10-2), which is 1-2-1 since winning five of six (5-1-0).

"We didn't respect our game plan," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "I'm not saying we didn't respect our opponent, but we didn't respect our game plan because we thought it was going to be easy. And for two days we talked about this, and so unacceptable, embarrassing, that's what we were tonight."

Charlie Lindgren made 27 saves in his sixth straight start for the Canadiens, who took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Gallagher and Byron.

"We knew we played half a good period, and we pretty much gave them those two goals," Rieder said. "Like, they didn't earn it, we gave it to them. So we knew we could be better."

Video: ARI@MTL: Richardson finds twine on booming slap shot

Richardson made it 2-1 with his first goal at 4:30 of the second period. Dvorak tied it at 2-2 with his third goal at 9:37.

Morrow gave Montreal a 3-2 lead at 15:20 on a one-timer from the top of the left face-off circle.

Rieder's goal at 19:09 tied it at 3-3. Weber scored 40 seconds later to give the Canadiens their third lead at 4-3.

"I just think we got sloppy," Gallagher said. "We didn't work. I mean for us to have success, we have to be skating, we have to be working, moving our feet. At times in the game we got sloppy, we got away from it, and it cost us the game."


Goal of the game

Fischer's power-play goal at 10:10 of the third period.

Video: ARI@MTL: Fischer tips in Perlini's shot for PPG


Save of the game

Raanta's save on Alex Galchenyuk at 17:36 of the third period.

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


Highlight of the game

Stepan's power-play goal at 4:54 of the third period.

Video: ARI@MTL: Stepan goes top shelf for PPG


They said it

"It just feels great. 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." -- Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder


"I have to give the guys a lot of credit. 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." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet


"We talked about it for two days so I don't think we were taking them lightly. We just didn't get the job done." -- Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber


Need to know

Coyotes rookie forward Clayton Keller's assist on Fischer's goal was his first point in five games. ... The potential tying goal by Andrew Shaw at 16:21 of the third was disallowed after a video review determined that he kicked the puck into the net.


What's next

Coyotes: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, TVA Sports, TSN5, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)


Video: Coyotes score two PPGs in the 3rd to rally past Habs

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