PHOENIX (AP) -- After an overtime loss in Denver's high altitude
the night before, the Montreal Canadiens arrived in Phoenix hoping
to just stay in the game long enough to get their legs back.
Thanks to a yeoman effort from goalie Jeff Hackett, they did.
Hackett had 14 of his 29 saves in the first period, allowing the
Canadiens to take a 3-0 lead that stood up for a 4-2 victory over
the Coyotes on Saturday night.
"He was on top of it and let us get our momentum, and I think
we played a lot better after that,'' forward Chad Kilger said.
Richard Zednik scored his team-high 13th goal as the Canadiens
ended a four-game winless streak.
The Canadiens were 0-2-0-2 after their 7-6 loss at Colorado. But
they had another streak going -- a 1-0-2 mark in the last three
games against Phoenix.
They wasted little time scoring on the slumping Coyotes, 1-4-4-1
in their last 10 games and 2-7-3-1 at home.
Phoenix, desperate to reverse a trend of slow starts, outshot
Montreal 7-1 in the first eight minutes, but Hackett handled all of
"They came out strong and put a lot of pressure on us, but I
think Jeff Hackett was the difference, especially in that first
period,'' Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
At the other end, Patrick DesRochers stopped Craig Rivet's shot
-- Montreal's second -- but lost his balance. Zednik scored when he
scooped the rebound over the fallen goalie 9:01 in. It was the
ninth time in 10 games Phoenix fell behind in the first period.
"Don't ask why weren't you prepared, because I thought we were
prepared,'' Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "We had a good start,
we were outshooting them 7-1, and next thing you know you're down
McKay beat DesRochers from the circle with 4:36 left in the
period, and Kilger made it 3-0 with 1:55 to play when he swept down
the left side and fired across into the net from the bottom of the
Kilger's unassisted goal, which came against his former team,
proved to be the game-winner.
"It's nice to score against anybody,'' said Kilger, who played
with Chicago and Edmonton after Phoenix traded him to the
Blackhawks in December 2000. "It's tough to come by goals. I'm
just hoping to contribute offensively and defensively, and it's
nice to do that.''
Amonte scored his eighth goal from high in the slot, firing a
shot that deflected off the stick of a Montreal defenseman and into
the top corner of the net.
"The first one or two shifts we felt like we were playing the
kind of hockey we needed to,'' Phoenix forward Shane Doan said.
"But then the lapses started again, the breakdowns. It's just long
Canadiens RW Donald Audette was a healthy scratch for the
fourth time in six games. ... Phoenix D Danny Markov played in his
300th game, 100 with the Coyotes. ... Kilger made his second
straight start on the line of C Saku Koivu and RW Zednik. ...
Montreal is 5-2-4 against the Coyotes since the franchise moved to
Phoenix in 1996.