Ducks strike with a pair of late power-play goals to defeat Canadiens
Mason McTavish and Jakob Silfverberg scored power-play goals in the third period, and the Ducks extended their point streak to five games by beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Friday night at Honda Center.
Jayson Megna also scored for Anaheim, which is 4-0-1 during its streak. John Gibson stopped 26 shots and Derek Grant had two assists in the Ducks’ first game after the trade deadline.
“I thought we were rested. I think it helped Montreal played last night,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought everybody was involved in our power play and it came up big.
“The other thing too is we were in a game in kind of own weight class here too. I think when you’re in those kind of games, you show a little bit better. As we go on the road here and get some desperate teams, I hope we can keep that level of play up.”
The win put the Ducks (21-34-8) at 50 points on the season, which is the fourth fewest in the NHL. The Canadiens (26-32-4) have 56 points, which is 26th out of 32 teams.
The Kings followed their major trade with Jonathan Quick by dealing for Flyers forward Zack MacEwen before the NHL trade deadline.
Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist, and Nick Suzuki also scored for Montreal. Sam Montembeault made 30 saves. The Canadiens have dropped two straight and three of their last four.
“I think it was one of those games you kind of love to play. The intensity ramped up in the third period where every play matters because it was a tie game,” said McTavish, who has a point in three straight games with a goal and four assists.
Anaheim came into the game last in the NHL on the power play with a 15.6% conversion rate and was one for 17 in the last five games.
But the Ducks finally found their stride with the man-advantage midway during the third period. McTavish scored on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle off a pass by Cam Fowler to make it 2-1. It was McTavish’s 14th goal of the season and his team-leading seventh on the power play.
Silfverberg provided what would prove to be the decisive goal with five minutes remaining when he put a wrist shot past Montembeault with plenty of traffic in front of the net.
Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras scored, but the Ducks’ three-game win streak was snapped in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals.
Suzuki brought the Canadiens to within a goal with 30 seconds left after they pulled the goaltender. It was the Montreal’s captain’s 21st of the season, which tied a career high.
“I thought tonight the effort was there. We just didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “We’re going to try to keep building our game and brand. I’m expecting us to fight every game and keeping working on what we’re trying to do.”
Montreal scored 76 seconds into the game when Drouin tipped in the loose puck in the crease after Mike Matheson’s shot went through Gibson’s legs. The goal was Drouin’s first in 45 games, dating back to last season.
“It means a lot,” Drouin said of the goal. “We have such a great group of guys and a tight-knit group. To see the reaction and all of the emotion, it was fun.”
Megna tied it three minutes later with a wrist shot in front of the net after taking a pass from Max Comtois. Montreal defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic partially got his stick on the pass but wasn’t able to clear it, leading to Megna’s second goal of the season.
Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek said forward Adam Henrique (medial collateral ligament sprain) could possibly return for the final two weeks of the season. Henrique, who is second on the team with 19 goals, was injured Feb. 21 against Tampa Bay.
Canadiens: At Vegas on Sunday.
Ducks: At Seattle on Tuesday night to open a three-game trip.
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