After a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes continued their less than hospitable ways against another road foe from north of the border, the Montreal Canadiens.
Radim Vrbata netted two goals, Mike Smith made 24 saves and the Coyotes routed Les Habitants by a final of 5-2 at Jobing.com Arena Thursday night in front of 15,282 fans.
Here’s a look back at the big, three-goal victory by the numbers:
Newly-acquired winger Martin Erat played 16 minutes and 30 seconds in his debut with the Coyotes. While he failed to record a point, Phoenix did score a goal on his first shift of the night. For the game, Erat had a plus-minus of two to go along with four hits.
Radim Vrbata scored at least two goals for the third time this season. Phoenix is a perfect 3-0-0 when he lights the lamp at least twice in 2013-14.
Phoenix scored three goals in the first period for the first time since Jan. 24 — span of 12 games. That night, the Coyotes took down another Canadian opponent, the Edmonton Oilers, by a final of 4-3.
The Coyotes hit the five-goal mark for the ninth time this season and first since a 6-0 win over the Calgary Flames back on Jan. 7.
One of the prized acquisitions of Wednesday’s trade deadline, left winger Thomas Vanek, made his debut for Montreal Thursday. In 15 minutes and 34 seconds of ice time, Vanek recorded just one shot on goal.
Despite scoring five goals on the night, Phoenix went a span of 21 minutes and 32 seconds — covering parts of both the second and third periods — without a single shot. Phoenix finished with 23 shots in all, despite firing 15 on Peter Budaj over the first 20 minutes of play.
With its home victory, Phoenix moved into sole possession of ninth place in the Western Conference standings. The Coyotes currently trail the Dallas Stars by one point in the race for the second Wild Card spot.
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson found the back of the net in Thursday’s first period for his 10th goal of the season. The tally was especially sweet for the Swede as it marked his 100th career point in the NHL.
Heading into the night, the Coyotes franchise had a .269 winning percentage all-time against the Canadiens dating back to their days in Winnipeg. In fact, the 5-2 triumph was Phoenix’s first over Montreal since Dec. 9, 1998.