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game recap

Five Canadiens score, Carey Price wins season debut

Goalie makes 27 saves in first NHL game since Nov. 25

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens gave goaltender Carey Price plenty of offensive support in his first NHL game in nearly 11 months.

Price made 27 saves, and defenseman Shea Weber scored his first goal with Montreal in a 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Price, who missed the first three games of the season with the flu, made his first regular-season start for Montreal since Nov. 25, when he sprained the MCL in his right knee, ending his 2015-16 season.

"In our mind, and I think most people in the League, he's the best goalie in the world, and you just can't replace that," Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher said.

Price played one preseason game before getting sick, after winning five games for Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 last month.

"He was good, as good as always," said Weber, who assisted on Arturri Lehkonen's third-period goal. "He made some big saves at key times, and obviously we know what we're going to get with him. He's a great player, he's a great competitor, and he's going to give us a chance to win every night."

Video: ARI@MTL: Weber blasts PPG to net first with Habs

Alexei Emelin, Torrey Mitchell and Alex Galchenyuk scored for Montreal (3-0-1), which won consecutive home games after a season-opening 1-0-1 road trip.

"I thought we were skating well and moving the puck," Price said. "It's always a bonus to put a five-spot up."

Goaltender Louis Domingue saved 15 of 19 shots for Arizona (1-2-0) before he was replaced by Justin Peters after Galchenyuk gave the Canadiens a 4-0 lead at 5:49 of the second period.

Peters, who made 23 saves, allowed Montreal's fifth goal when Lehkonen scored his second of the season at 12:38 of the third period.

Emelin opened the scoring with a slap shot past Domingue at 13:20 of the first period.

Video: ARI@MTL: Emelin rips a slap shot past Domingue

The Canadiens scored the first three of five goals in the second period, beginning with Mitchell's at 2:07.

Weber, who was acquired from the Nashville Predators for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29, increased the lead to 3-0 with a power-play goal on a slap shot from the left side at 4:06.

Galchenyuk scored his first goal of the season at 5:49 to chase Domingue.

It was Domingue's first start in place of Mike Smith, who sustained a lower-body injury in a 7-4 loss at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Jakob Chychrun, Arizona's first-round pick (No. 16) in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored his first goal in his second game in the League at 6:36.

"Obviously, it's nice to get your first goal in the NHL, but it's tough after a loss," Chychrun said. "It's tough to enjoy it. It's fine, but I would have rather had a win tonight."

Laurent Dauphin's shorthanded goal at 16:09 cut Montreal's lead to 4-2

"We were all right," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said about battling back. "We competed hard, but there's areas of our game we still have to clean up though. Some of the execution is not what it needs to be, and for us, we need all the parts to work to be competitive."

Video: ARI@MTL: Lehkonen extends Habs' lead with wrist shot

 

Goal of the game

Playing at 4-on-4, Mitchell gave Montreal a 2-0 lead early in the second period with a one-timer from the left faceoff dot off defenseman Nathan Beaulieu's cross-ice pass from the right side.

Video: ARI@MTL: Mitchell one-times Beaulieu's great feed

 

Save of the game

Price held at bay his cousin, Arizona captain Shane Doan, with his 25th save late in the third period, reaching back to smother the puck with his glove as it trickled toward the goal line.

Video: ARI@MTL: Price denies Doan in first game of season

 

Highlight of the game

Galchenyuk's goal was worth a second look. The Montreal center deked his way past Doan just inside the Coyotes blue line and shot under Domingue's left arm from the slot.

Video: ARI@MTL: Galchenyuk dekes defender to pad the lead

 

Unsung moments of the game

Two hard checks by Weber on Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder in the first period made an impression on the big defenseman's new teammates, as well as the Bell Centre crowd.

 

They said it

"I've been saying for a while I feel like I can play in this league, and I think I'm just trying to do my best to prove that every night. And I definitely do feel like I'm getting more confident every night, for sure, so that always helps, and I've just got to keep doing it consistently." -- Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun

 

"A guy that physical and that dominant defensively that can damage you on the score sheet is very rare. That's why Shea's such a special player in this league." -- Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu on Shea Weber

 

Video: ARI@MTL: Chychrun buries his first NHL goal

 

Need to know

Smith returned to Arizona on Thursday to be examined by Coyotes doctors after having an MRI in Montreal. ... Canadiens defenseman Zach Redmond will be out for six weeks after breaking his foot in practice.

 

What's next

Coyotes: At the New York Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, TVA Sports, CITY, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Weber, Price lead Habs past Coyotes

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