Slafkovský scores 1st career NHL goal as Canadiens rout Coyotes


Top draft pick Juraj Slafkovský scored his first career NHL goal and the Canadiens used a three-goal first period to cruise to a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday in Montreal.

Josh Anderson, Cole Caufield and Brendan Gallagher gave Montreal the early cushion.

Nick Suzuki notched a penalty shot marker and Sean Monahan added an empty-netter. Jake Allen made 25 saves in the win.

The Canadiens (3-2-0) improved to 3-0 at home on the season with the victory.

WATCH | Canadiens’ Suzuki scores highlight-reel penalty shot goal:

Stunning penalty shot goal buy Suzuki helps Habs take down Coyotes

Montreal captain Nick Suzuki flipped his penalty shot past Arizona goalie Connor Ingram as Canadiens defeated Coyotes 6-3.

J.J. Moser and Travis Boyd scored for Arizona. Lawson Crouse added two assists.

In his first start with the Coyotes (1-3-0), Connor Ingram stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced.

Anderson got the Habs started 1:58 into the opening period as he scored on a rebound from a Jonathan Drouin shot that hit the post.

Just over two minutes later, Montreal doubled its advantage when Crouse gave up a costly turnover to Caufield in the slot where his shot bounced past Ingram and into the net.

Gallagher tried his luck on a two-on-one and beat Ingram glove side to open his 2022-23 account on the Canadiens’ fourth shot of the game at 7:17 to make it 3-0.

Slafkovský notched his first NHL goal 8:17 into the second period when he intercepted the puck and beat Ingram with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. The Bell Centre crowd gave the first overall pick a standing ovation as the PA announcer called his name. Canadiens fans kept going, chanting Slafkovský’s name following the goal.

Suzuki was given a penalty shot when he was tripped by Juuso Valimaki while Montreal was short-handed. The captain took all the space he needed then lobbed the puck over Ingram to increase the Habs’ lead to 5-0 at 18:27 in the second period.

The Coyotes ruined Allen’s shutout bid with two quick goals in the third period. Crouse sent the puck to Moser who fired a one-timer atop the left faceoff circle to finally break the ice at 6:21.

Crouse then fed Boyd who gave Arizona its second goal at 8:18.

With under four minutes remaining, Monahan scored an empty-net goal to close it out.

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