VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)Max Domi credited the Montreal Canadiens’ special teams play for helping them get their latest win.
Tomas Tatar and Shea Weber scored power-play goals 1:34 apart in the third period as the Canadiens beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 Tuesday night.
“That’s a gutsy, character win for sure on the road,” Domi said. “They had some opportunities on the power play and our PK was great. We capitalized on our power plays. We grinded it out.”
Nick Cousins also scored to help the Canadiens win for the fourth time in five games. Domi and Joel Armia had two assists each, and Carey Price stopped 38 shots.
Montreal was 2 for 2 on the power play after going 0 for 1 in a 2-1 loss to Detroit on Saturday night, and held Vancouver to 1 for 4.
“We needed one,” Tatar said. “Last game we didn’t get one. … It gave us a spark for sure.”
Adam Gaudette scored and Jacob Markstrom finished with 27 saves for the Canucks, who lost their third straight game and fourth in five.
“Frustration is going to happen and rightfully so,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “I don’t mind frustration. Our team should be. … You have to raise your game. At times like this you have to raise your game, every person.”
The Canadiens went ahead 2-1 just 1:51 into the third after Jake Virtanen was sent off for slashing. With Montreal buzzing in the Vancouver zone, Phillip Danault was hauled down. As he lay on the ice, he managed to slide the puck to Tatar, who scored his fourth goal in four games.
Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson was called for tripping on the play. That led to Weber finding a loose puck and scoring his 11th of the season at 3:25.
The Canucks came close with under five minutes remaining when Elias Pettersson’s shot hit the crossbar and, then fell behind Price.
“It was just hard work,” Price said. “I thought we did a good job of protecting our house and making it difficult.”
Montreal coach Claude Julien said his team got better as the game progressed.
“I liked our game,” he said. “It was a good road game, a good road win.”
After beginning December in a playoff spot, the Canucks have sunk to 11th in the Western Conference. They are four points back of Calgary for the second wild card in the West.
J.T. Miller said Vancouver isn’t playing bad, just not good enough to win.
“The team knows when we are playing the right way and not playing the right way,” he said. “Lately I think we are having more good periods than not.”
Miller was particularly upset he failed to score on a breakaway in the second period with the Canucks leading 1-0. Montreal took the puck down the ice and Nick Cousins scored the tying goal.
“It could have changed the whole complexation of the game,” he said. “The last three or four games I’ve had lots of looks. It’s good you are getting the looks, it means you’re doing good things. But at the same time, I feel like I need to take responsibility.”
Gaudette opened the scoring with 1:39 left in the first period after Tatar was sent off on a questionable tripping call. Defenseman Tyler Myers fed Gaudette the puck and he rifled a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that beat Price short side. It was Vancouver’s second power-play goal in 14 chances over the last five games.
The goal came not long after Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen forced a turnover and had a short-handed breakaway that Markstrom stopped with his blocker.
The Canadiens used a turnover to tie it at 8:05 of the second. Domi forced Vancouver’s Antoine Roussel to cough up the puck. He carried it into the Canucks zone, then feathered a pass between defenseman Oscar Fantenberg’s legs and onto Cousins’ stick. He scored his fifth of the year with a low shot to the blocker side.
Both teams had goals disallowed during the second period. Gaudette looked to have scored his second of the night off the rebound of Josh Leivo’s breakaway shot. The goal was waved off after a video review showed Leivo was offside.
Armia thought he had put the Canadiens ahead a few minutes later but a review showed Lehkonen interfering with Markstrom.
NOTES: The Canucks’ Tim Schaller was a healthy scratch for a second straight game after going 22 games without a point. … Vancouver placed F Sven Baertschi on waivers. Baertschi, who is earning $3.36 million, continues to play with Utica of the AHL. … Montreal’s Victor Mete (ankle) and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (concussion) practiced in non-contact jerseys Monday and Tuesday and remain day to day.
Canadiens: At Calgary on Thursday night for the second of a stretch of seven straight road games to finish the month.
Canucks: Host Vegas on Thursday night for the second of five straight at home.
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