The Phoenix Coyotes took the ice in Montreal and jumped to an early lead Tuesday night against the Canadiens. Phoenix even held the lead through the end of the second frame, even though Montreal appeared to be outplaying the visiting team.
The wheels completely fell off for the Coyotes in the final period, and the Canadiens emerged with a 3-1 win in front of a full arena at Bell Centre.
A power play goal by Max Pacioretty put Montreal ahead with just under six minutes to go, and the Coyotes got some good shots on goal near the end, but couldn’t make up the difference.
Pacioretty knocked in another goal with under three seconds left to ice the game for Montreal (21-12-3, second place in the Atlantic Division).
Phoenix fell to 18-10-5 after its second-straight loss.
Mikkel Boedker became the second Coyote to reach double-digits in goals this season with his first period make that put the team up 1-0.
Defenseman Connor Murphy recorded his second assist of the season on Boedker’s goal.
Pacioretty’s final goal was an empty netter, so Coyotes goalie Mike Smith still had 25 saves on 27 shot attempts on the night.
Pacioretty ran wild on the Coyotes in the third period, scoring two goals and assisting on the other.
The Coyotes had four power play opportunities, and couldn’t convert once.
Conversely, the Canadiens also had four power play chances, and converted two of them.
The Coyotes got 27 shots on goalie Carey Price, but only got one through.
– The Coyotes haven’t won in Montreal since 1996.
– Defenseman Zbynek Michalek left the game with a lower body injury and did not return. He missed nine games earlier in the year with a possible related injury.
– Phoenix has lost nine out of its last 13 games.
The Coyotes remain in Canada and head to Toronto on Thursday, Dec. 19, to face the Maple Leafs, who are 17-16-3 and fifth in the Atlantic Division. Puck drops at 5:00 p.m. MST. Catch the game on 860 AM or Fox Sports Arizona.