MONTREAL (AP) — It looked as if Louis Domingue’s first NHL start would be awful when he allowed two goals on Montreal’s first four shots.
But after that rough beginning, the Arizona backup goaltender stopped his next 16 shots and led the Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens on Sunday.
“There was a lot of emotion in the first period,” said the 22-year-old Domingue, raised near Montreal. “There was a lot to take in.”
“I was still on a cloud, but as the game went on, I settled down and the team started playing better,” he said.
With his parents in the seats, Domingue helped end Montreal’s five-game winning streak.
Domingue made his NHL debut Saturday in relief of Mike Smith during the third period of a 7-2 loss in Ottawa, giving up two goals.
Against the Canadiens, he gave two goals to Alex Galchenyuk in the opening 4:55.
Domingue wants to show coach Dave Tippett he’s ready to make it a permanent stay in the NHL. The Coyotes traded backup Devan Dubnyk to Minnesota on Jan. 14 and sent Mike McKenna to the minors, so there’s a job open.
Another prospect, Mark Visintin, is nursing a leg injury.
“I’m just trying to prove that I belong here, that I’m an NHL goalie and I can take over the job,” Domingue said. “We have a job at stake, so I’m trying to grab the opportunity and make the most of it.”
Lauri Korpikoski scored a pair of power-play goals and Oliver Ekman-Larsson got the other for the Coyotes.
Backup goaltender Dustin Tokarski started for Montreal. Carey Price got a day off after posting his second straight shutout Saturday against Washington.
“After getting the start we wanted, it was a difficult game,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “We just played an emotional game and our emotion today was not quite at the level we were looking for.”
Arizona won for only the second time on an eight-game road trip that ends Tuesday night in Columbus. The Coyotes were away while the Phoenix area hosted the Super Bowl and festivities.
Galchenyuk cut to the inside and sent a wrist shot under the crossbar 1:15 into the game, then put in David Desharnais’ feed for a 2-0 lead.
The Coyotes took over in the second period and outshot Montreal 14-5. Korpikoski got the only goal of the session, deflecting a high point shot in from the slot. Video review showed his stick was not above crossbar height.
It was the first goal allowed by Montreal since 10:05 of the second period against Dallas last Tuesday.
Ekman-Larsson tied it a half-minute into the third when his shot from the left boards sneaked inside the near post.
Korpikoski struck on another power play less than three minutes later when his attempt to pass across the crease went in off defenseman Alexei Emelin.
Montreal center Lars Eller appeared to injure his left leg when cross-checked into a goalpost by Brendan Shinnimin midway through the second period. He returned for one shift, then left with what the team announced was a lower body injury. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
NOTES: Price’s 29th shutout on Saturday moved him into a tie with Patrick Roy for fifth all-time among Canadiens goalies. … The Canadiens gave Sergei Gonchar and Michael Bournival a rest and dressed Mike Weaver and Gabriel Dumont. … Mikkel Boedker, Joe Vitale and Martin Hazel remain sidelined with upper body issues for Arizona.
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