Vrbata scores 2 goals, Coyotes bounce back from shaky second period to beat Canadiens 5-2

Radim Vrbata scored two goals and the Phoenix Coyotes bounced back from a shaky second period to beat Montreal 5-2 Thursday night, their first win over the Canadiens since 1998.

The Coyotes wanted to jump on Montreal early after the Canadiens won a six-round shootout against the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks the night before and did just that, scoring three goals in the first period.

The Canadiens fought back, though, holding the Coyotes to one shot in the second period while setting up Alex Galchenyuk's goal on a two-man advantage.

Vrbata made it a two-goal lead in the third period and Keith Yandle scored less than 2 minutes later to put it out of reach, giving Phoenix its first winning streak since Jan. 16-18.

Andrei Markov had a goal and an assist, and P.K. Subban had a pair of assists for Montreal.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and an assist, and Lauri Korpikoski scored his first goal in 19 games for the Coyotes. Mike Ribeiro and Kyle Chipchura had a pair of assists.

Phoenix played one of its best defensive games of the season on Tuesday, limiting Vancouver's scoring chances in a 1-0 win for its first victory in four games since the Olympic break.

Earlier in the week, the Coyotes traded for forward Martin Erat, who played on the second line with Chipchura — in place of injured center Martin Hanzal — and Vrbata.

Montreal also added a big reinforcement at the trade deadline, picking up high-scoring forward Thomas Vanek in a deal that sent a prospect and a draft pick to the New York Islanders.

Erat had the impact on his new team first, helping the Coyotes score on his first shift when Vrbata redirected a shot by David Schlemko and sent it bouncing past Peter Budaj.

Markov tied it later in the period on a slap shot from the left circle that bounced off the post and out of the net so quickly the officials didn't count it until after reviewing it about a minute later.

Korpikoski put Phoenix back on top late in the period on another redirect, this one on a shot by Michael Stone for his first goal since Jan. 11. Ekman-Larsson put the Coyotes up 3-1 with 8.5 seconds left, beating Budaj on a wrister after a pass by Ribeiro from behind the goal for his 100th career point.

Phoenix had already blown one two-goal lead this week and was in jeopardy of doing it again when Montreal picked up the pressure in the second period. The Canadiens spent most of the period in Phoenix's end, leading to a series of penalties, including a long 5-on-3 that led to Galchenyuk's on a redirect.

After going more than 21 minutes without a shot, the Coyotes took control back on the goals by Vrbata and Yandle to finally beat the Canadiens.

Notes: Hanzal missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Montreal concludes its four-game Western road swing in San Jose on Saturday. ... A slashing call against Ribeiro early in the second period was the Coyotes first penalty in nearly 90 minutes. ... Montreal had a goal by Brendan Gallagher waved off in the second period when David Desharnais was called for being in the crease.