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Three third-period goals lift Habs past Coyotes

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- Left winger Max Pacioretty finished strong after a rough start, helping the Montreal Canadiens earn a rare comeback win while extending their mastery over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Pacioretty scored twice and assisted on defenseman Andrei Markov's power-play goal as Montreal scored three times in the third period to rally for a 3-1 win Tuesday night.

Goalie Carey Price stopped 26 shots for Montreal, which won when trailing after two periods for the first time this season. The Canadiens were 0-10-1 in that situation prior to Tuesday.

Markov scored on a power play 2:26 into the third period to draw Montreal even at 1-1.

Pacioretty, who hit the post three times earlier in the game, once in each period, put the Canadiens ahead with his 13th goal on another Montreal man advantage at 13:18. His shot from the right corner went in off Phoenix defenseman Michael Stone's skate.

Pacioretty added his second of the game into an empty net with 2.6 seconds remaining.

"It was an eventful game," said Pacioretty, who was penalized for tripping Phoenix goalie Mike Smith in the first period. "I felt like I had a couple of opportunities but I wasn't playing my best the first half of that game. And, you know, Coach (Michel Therrien) was leaning on our line, and when he gives you that type of opportunity, you want to deliver, especially when things are going not how you want them to go.

"When he gives you an opportunity like that, you want to prove to him he's making the right decision."

Montreal extended its undefeated streak against the Coyotes to 14 games. The Canadiens have 11 wins and no losses against Phoenix since December 1998.

"They capitalized on their power play and were able to score some key goals," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle said. "For us to be a better team, we've got to find ways to win in those situations, especially in a building like this."

Coyotes right winger Mikkel Boedker scored his 10th goal 6:14 into the first period. Price stopped a shot from the right circle by Boedker, who continued driving toward the net, and the rebound went in off his right skate to put Phoenix up 1-0.

Goaltender Mike Smith made 25 saves for the Coyotes (18-10-5). Smith made a sensational glove save on center Alex Galchenyuk's one-timer from the slot with 37 seconds remaining in the second.

Phoenix was down to five defensemen early when Zbynek Michalek left the game after his first shift. Michalek started the game and played 40 seconds before leaving with an upper-body injury. He did not return.

"He's a key component of our (penalty-killing unit), no doubt about that," Coyotes center Antoine Vermette said. "He really stabilizes things out there and calms things down and wins those battles. It makes a difference."

Phoenix outshot Montreal 15-3 in the first period, but the Canadiens (21-12-3) wound up with a 28-27 shot advantage on the night, including 14-5 in the third.

"We obviously had a tough first period, but we came in here after the first and really regrouped," Price said. "I thought the second half of that game we really played well. We had a really good third period, and we got rewarded for it."

Right winger Shane Doan, the Coyotes' captain, did not make the trip. He remains sidelined due to an undisclosed illness.

NOTES: Tuesday was the Canadiens' 350th consecutive sold-out regular-season game at the Bell Centre. Including playoff games, Montreal played its 381st consecutive game in front of a capacity crowd of 21,273. The last time tickets went unsold for a Canadiens home game was Jan. 8, 2004, when a crowd of 20,706 took in a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. ... Before Tuesday, Phoenix's most recent game in Montreal was Oct. 25, 2010. ... Coyotes D Derek Morris and D David Rundblad and C Gilbert Brule did not play. ... Canadiens RW George Parros missed his second straight game because of a concussion. He sustained his second concussion of the season Saturday during a fight with New York Islanders LW Eric Boulton. Parros missed 12 games early in the season after he suffered a concussion when his chin struck the ice as he fell over during a fight with Toronto RW Colton Orr in Montreal's season-opening 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on Oct. 1. ... D Francis Bouillon and C Ryan White were left out of the Canadiens' lineup.
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