May 27, 2024

Alex Newhook scored with 3:20 remaining for his second goal of the game, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ducks 4-3 Wednesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Kaiden Guhle and Mike Matheson also scored, Sam Montembeault made 30 saves, and the Canadiens won on the road for the second time in six games.

“It’s obviously big for us,” Montembeault said. “We’re on the road for like 10 days here, so we wanted to really get the first one here.”

Mason McTavish had two goals and an assist, and Frank Vatrano had a goal and an assist in the Ducks’ fourth straight loss. John Gibson finished with 24 saves.

“They’re close games, the games you could win,” Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said. “We were winning them a month ago.”

Montreal blew leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before Newhook finished off a 2-on-1 rush from Jake Evans to pick up just its third win in 10 games.

“I think the third, we were kind of just gripping our sticks and worried about losing it,” Evans said. “It’s great when you pull it out at the end, but a lot more to clean up still.”

McTavish got his second multi-goal game to pull the Ducks to 3-2 at the six-minute mark of the second, period with Vatrano setting him up by spinning around on a centering pass after chasing down Tristan Luneau’s pass.

It was the first career point in three games for Luneau, who was the 53rd overall pick in the 2022 draft.

Vatrano tied it at 3 with 8:29 remaining in the third, beating Montembeault five-hole for his 13th goal of the season.

“That line was dominant,” Cronin said. “But we can’t be a one-line team. We’re, like, relying on one line almost every night and it’s hard to win that way.”

After allowing the opening goal in four of their past five games, the Canadiens struck quickly when Newhook scored 5:59 into the first period after a power play expired and Guhle followed up with his second goal of the season 38 seconds later.

“It gave guys confidence, and the whole team was playing well,” Evans said. “I feel like we were coming in waves at the beginning too, and everyone’s got the confidence to make the right plays. Got away from it for a bit, but for the most part I think we stuck together.”

McTavish cut it to 2-1 less than a minute into the second period, quickly capitalizing on a power play by tipping in Leo Carlsson’s pass.

Between McTavish, Luneau, Carlsson and defenseman Pavel Mintyukov, who had the secondary assist, Anaheim became the fourth team in the past 30 years to have four players under the age of 21 all record a point in the same game. The Ducks were the first to do so since 2011-12 Colorado Avalanche, when Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Stefan Elliott each found the scoresheet on two different occasions.

Montreal responded 56 seconds later when Matheson beat Gibson with a wrist shot from the high slot to restore a two-goal lead.

“I loved our compete level,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “We found a way to win it. Could it have gone the other way? Absolutely. But this team needed a win tonight, and we found a way.”

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