Schmaltz powers Coyotes past Canadiens
Nick Schmaltz produced a goal and two assists Monday afternoon as the Arizona Coyotes finished a long stretch of home games with a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Glendale, Ariz.
In the battle between the two clubs with the NHL’s lowest winning percentages, Arizona was triumphant and snapped a two-game losing streak.
Johan Larsson and Clayton Keller each registered a goal and an assist. Travis Boyd and Janis Moser also hit the back of the net as the Coyotes won for only the fifth time on home ice this season.
In squaring his January record at 3-3-0, Karel Vejmelka turned away 24 of 26 Montreal shots.
Acquired on waivers from the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 12, Rem Pitlick scored for the first time in his second match for the Canadiens, and Ryan Poehling netted a marker for Montreal, which lost its sixth straight.
Additionally for Montreal, Jonathan Drouin posted two assists.
Appearing in his 10th career game, starting goalie Cayden Primeau surrendered four goals on 16 shots through two periods. Sam Montembeault replaced him in the third and stopped all six shots he faced.
In his first game since Dec. 2, Josh Anderson slotted into the top line at right wing for Montreal. He was minus-2 with two shots in 16:44 of ice time.
Upon receiving a pass from Schmaltz, Boyd one-timed his ninth goal of the season from the left dot, sneaking it inside the near post at 5:19 for a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Larsson added to the advantage from almost the identical spot three minutes later, taking a cross-ice pass from Phil Kessel and notching his fifth marker of the year.
Drouin gave Montreal life when he stole a pass in the offensive end and shipped a circle-to-circle pass over to Pitlick, who blistered his seventh goal overall this season to cut it to 2-1.
In the second, Arizona went up 3-1 when Moser popped in a short backhander for his third goal, but Poehling answered on the power play by redirecting in his fifth goal.
But with 1:58 to go and an Arizona power play just ending, Schmaltz cleaned up a loose puck around Primeau for his second goal to regain the two-goal margin.
Keller potted an empty-net marker — his team-leading 14th goal — at 18:18 for the final margin.
–Field Level Media