Hoffman, Montembeault lifts Canadiens to OT win over Coyotes

By | December 20, 2022

Mike Hoffman scored at 3:52 of overtime, Sam Montembeault stopped 37 shots and the Montreal Canadiens ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.

Montembeault made some tough saves in the third period and the Canadiens controlled the puck for most of the overtime. Hoffman won it by skating up the middle of the ice and beating Karel Vejmelka.

Christian Dvorak had a goal against his former team and Cole Caufield also scored for Montreal

Nick Schmaltz and Matias Maccelli scored, and Vejmelka had 20 saves for the Coyotes, who lost despite having 13 more shots on goal.

Arizona had the early jump, creating numerous good scoring chances early while outshooting Montreal 17-5 in the first period. Montembeault was sharp to keep it scoreless, starting with a sliding kick save and through two penalty kills. He ended the first period by stopping Lawson Crouse from just outside the crease after coughing up the puck behind his own net.

The goals came in a hurry in the second period.

Caufield broke the tie 49 seconds in, using a toe drag to set up a wrister that beat Vejmelka from the right circle. It was Montreal’s first goal in the first or second period in six games.

WATCH | Hoffman’s overtime winner lifts Habs past Coyotes:

Hoffman’s overtime winner lifts the Habs over Coyotes

Mike Hoffman scored in overtime giving Montreal a 3-2 win over Arizona Monday night.

Schmaltz needed 35 seconds to tie it, lifting a shot over Montembeault from between the circles. Dvorak, who played five seasons in the desert, put Montreal back up three minutes later, redirecting Arber Xhekaj’s shot from near the blue line.

Maccelli had the Coyotes’ answer midway through the period, beating Montembeault between the pads on a short breakaway.

The scoring chances all but dried up in the third period.

Montreal Canadiens' Christian Dvorak, left, alongside a Canadiens trainer, is helped off the ice after getting hit in the face by the puck.
Montreal Canadiens’ Christian Dvorak, left, is helped off the ice after getting hit in the face by the puck in the first period during an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes in Tempe, Ariz. (Darryl Webb/The Associated Press)

Montembeault made a difficult save on Lawson Crouse on a shorthanded 2-on-1 and got some help when Shayne Gostisbehere’s shot from the right circle hit the crossbar.

Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien missed his second straight game and is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Montreal defenseman Mike Matheson did not play and is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. David Savard also missed his eighth game with an upper-body injury and was placed on the injured-reserve list retroactive to Dec. 4. The Canadiens announced they will honor PK Subban at the Bell Center on Jan. 12 when they face Nashville.

Canadiens face the Avalanche in Colorado on Wednesday night as the Coyotes play the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

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