Conor Garland scored the tiebreaking goal early in the second period and Thatcher Demko made 33 saves as the visiting Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak with 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.
With the game tied 1-1 early in the second period, the Canucks took advantage of a Montreal turnover in its own end. Bo Horvat intercepted a pass and hit Garland, who pushed the point-blank chance past Canadiens netminder Jake Allen (40 saves) at the 6:27 mark of the middle frame.
The Canucks then clamped down defensively, killed off a pair of third-period penalties and got some key saves from Demko, who stopped 11 shots in the final period, to win for the second time in 11 games.
Elias Pettersson also scored for Vancouver, which snapped a six-game road slide by beating Montreal in regulation for the first time since Oct. 27, 2015. Ever since, the Canadiens had been 14-0-4 against the Canucks.
Ryan Poehling scored his fourth goal of the season for the Canadiens, who were stymied again in their attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Montreal, which is now 2-6-1 in its past nine games, returned to the ice following a weekend house-cleaning of its front office.
On Saturday, the club announced the resignation of assistant general manager Scott Mellanby. Then Sunday, executive vice president and general manager Marc Bergevin, with the team since 2012, was among three front-office figures fired by the team. Meanwhile, ex-New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton was hired as Montreal’s new executive vice president of hockey operations.
Vancouver opened the scoring eight minutes into the game when Pettersson snapped a nine-game goal drought with his fourth of the season. It came as the Canucks’ recorded a power-play tally in back-to-back games for the first time since late October.
Montreal leveled the contest with 1:21 left in the opening period. Following a Vancouver turnover in the neutral zone, Jonathan Drouin hit a streaking Poehling, who chipped the puck past Demko.
By scoring the winner, Garland has goals in back-to-back games and four in his past seven contests. He has seven on the season.
–Field Level Media