Canucks deny Canadiens NHL record-tying 10th win to start season
McCann scores twice, Miller outduels Price in goalie showdown
The Vancouver Canucks' first win on home ice stopped the red-hot Montreal Canadiens in their tracks.
Jared McCann scored twice and Ryan Miller made 25 saves as Vancouver picked up a 5-1 victory on Tuesday to hand Montreal its first loss of the season.
"It was huge," said Canucks forward Alex Burrows. "It's a huge measuring stick against probably the best team in the league right now."
The Canadiens (9-1-0) had set an NHL record with nine straight regulation wins to begin the year, and were one victory from tying the best start in league history set by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres.
It was a statement game and they wanted to prove they could beat us, especially in their barn, and they outplayed us.- Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty after Tuesday's 5-1 loss to the Canucks
Luca Sbisa, Radim Vrbata and Derek Dorsett had the other goals for the Canucks (4-2-3), while Brandon Prust added two assists as Vancouver snapped a four-game losing streak and won at Rogers Arena for the first time in six tries this season.
Torrey Mitchell replied for the Canadiens, while Carey Price stopped 23 shots.
"They definitely came out hard and we didn't match their intensity," said Montreal captain Max Pacioretty. "It was a statement game and they wanted to prove they could beat us, especially in their barn, and they outplayed us."
Just 0-2-2 through the first four games of a five-game homestand, the Canucks had blown leads after 40 minutes in their last two losses and were up in 3-0 before the Canadiens got on the board when Mitchell scored his fourth of the season on a deflection 2:54 into the third period.
But any thoughts of a comeback were put to rest at 7:50 when Vrbata batted a puck out of mid-air on the power play for his second to make it 4-1 before Dorsett also added his second on a bank shot off a Montreal player at 10:56.
"It was good to see that we could beat a top team," said Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins. "I think all our guys had confidence, but it was still nice to find a way and hold a lead."
The Canadiens, who had trailed for just two minutes 57 seconds on their winning streak while allowing a league-low 12 goals, saw Vancouver grab the lead just 2:30 into the first when Prust ripped a shot that Price couldn't squeeze. The puck bounced off the Canadiens goalie's shoulder and rolled down his back into the crease, where McCann banged home his third of season.
McCann, a 19-year-old playing just his seventh NHL game who is trying to convince the Canucks not to send him back to junior before his entry-level contract kicks in, then extended Vancouver's lead to three with 4:08 left in the period off a faceoff win in the Montreal end.