Slafkovsky scores first NHL goal, Canadiens beat Coyotes 6-2

Oct 20, 2022, 7:26 AM | Updated: 8:34 pm
Montreal Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky, front right, and teammate Arber Xhekaj celebrate their victor...

Montreal Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky, front right, and teammate Arber Xhekaj celebrate their victory over the Arizona Coyotes in NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

              The puck grazes Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram as his team faces the Montreal Canadiens during third-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Arizona Coyotes' Travis Boyd, center, scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen, top left, as Canadiens' Evgenii Dadonov (63) looks on during third-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Arber Xhekaj, left, holds the stick of Arizona Coyotes' Nick Ritchie, center, as Ritchie falls onto Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen's net during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Nick Suzuki, left, scores on a penalty shot past Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky celebrates his goal against the Arizona Coyotes with Jake Evans during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              First star of the game, Montreal Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky, tosses pucks to the crowd after defeating the Arizona Coyotes in NHL hockey action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky, front right, and teammate Arber Xhekaj celebrate their victory over the Arizona Coyotes in NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

MONTREAL (AP) — Top draft pick Juraj Slafkovsky scored his first NHL goal and the Montreal Canadiens had a three-goal first period in a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

“It’s amazing. To score my first goal in this building, it’s a dream come true for sure,” he said. “I think nothing better could happen after a first NHL goal than what happened out there.”

Slafkovsky scored in his fifth game.

“I’m happy for the kid,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “There’s a lot of pressure for an 18-year-old, first overall pick, to play here in Montreal and the fans made a nice gesture to encourage the kid scoring his first goal. I was expecting nothing less, we have spectacular fans.”

Josh Anderson, Cole Caufield and Brendan Gallagher gave Montreal the early cushion. Nick Suzuki scored on a penalty shot, Sean Monahan added an empty-netter and Jake Allen made 25 saves.

The Canadiens (3-2-0) improved to 3-0 at home.

J.J. Moser and Travis Boyd scored for Arizona, and Lawson Crouse added two assists. Connor Ingram stopped 24 shots in his first start with the Coyotes (1-3-0), coming off a 4-2 win in Toronto.

“We had an `A’ day in Toronto, and today, it was not as sharp,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “That’s the beauty of the game. You never know who will win because everybody can have a great day or a bad day, but it’s our job to have more good days than bad days.”

Arizona has two games left on an opening six-game trip.

Slafkovsky scored at 8:17 of the second period when he intercepted the puck and beat Ingram with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle.

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 make it 5-0 late in the second period.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: At Ottawa on Saturday.

Canadiens: Host Dallas on Saturday night.

___

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Slafkovsky scores first NHL goal, Canadiens beat Coyotes 6-2