MONTREAL (AP) — Jesperi Kotkaniemi needed just 54 games to etch his name in the Montreal Canadiens‘ record book.He became the fi

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MONTREAL (AP) — Jesperi Kotkaniemi needed just 54 games to etch his name in the Montreal Canadiens‘ record book.He became the first 18-year-old in franchise history to score in three consecutive games as Montreal downed the slumping Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Tuesday night.The Finn’s first-period goal helped the Canadiens improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games.“It’s obviously special to do something like that in this kind of organization www.officialcoyotes.com ,” Kotkaniemi said. “It’s a good thing.”Kotkaniemi, the third-overall pick at last year’s draft, has five goals in his last nine games. He’s scored in every match since the Canadiens came back from their bye week.“You can tell the break’s been good to him,” teammate Brendan Gallagher said. “We forget that he’s played a lot of hockey this year. He came here and did all the prospects stuff, then training camp. He’s played a lot of games.“We’re going to need him going forward and he’s come up with some big goals.”The Canadiens were all over the Ducksfrom the opening faceoff, scoring twice before the visitors even got their second shot on goal.Gallagher got the first at 7:11 of the first period after sustained forecheck by Phillip Danault in Anaheim’s zone led to a turnover by Josh Manson. The puck ended up on Gallagher’s stick for his team-leading 20th of the season.Kotkaniemi made it 2-0 less than three minutes later off a rebound.Gallagher padded the lead with his second of the game at 16:39 on a one-timer from the slot past Chad Johnson after a poorly timed line change by the Ducks.“Our players did a great job in the first period,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said. “We skated well and had them (the Ducks) on their heels. They’re a fragile team right now. With the 3-0 lead we did some damage.”Anaheim has lost five in a row. Randy Carlyle’s team has conceded 19 goals in the past three games, including a 9-3 loss in Winnipeg on Saturday and a 6-1 defeat in Toronto on Monday.“We’re saying all the right things in the room,” Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg said. “You just have to leave it out there. And everyone has to take it upon themselves and look in the mirror.“You can’t just be here to participate. You have to make sure to play harder.”The Ducks were handed a lifeline in the second period when captain Ryan Getzlaf beat Carey Price on the wraparound at 11:27. Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 47 points this season.But after taking their foot off the gas pedal in the second period Arizona Coyotes T-Shirts Authentic , the Canadiens started the third with renewed vigour.Danault restored the three-goal lead at 2:31 after a no-look pass by Jonathan Drouin behind the net fooled Johnson into looking the wrong way. Danault has eight points in his last nine games.Drouin finished the game with three assists.Price made 24 saves for his sixth straight victory — his longest winning streak since the 2016-17 season. He’s six wins away from tying Jacques Plante for most victories by a goaltender in Canadiens history.Johnson stopped 28 shots.NOTES: Price improved to 3-6-1 career against the Ducks. … Montreal finished 0 for 3 on the power play.UP NEXTDucks: Play at Ottawa on Thursday night.Canadiens: Host Winnipeg on Thursday night. Entering Monday’s game at Washington with a six-game losing streak as well as a 10-game skid in road games dating back to mid-November, the Nashville Predators finally found their slump-buster.The team which made fathers’ trips a common thing in the NHL brought their moms along, and with their biggest cheerleaders looking on from two boxes at the Verizon Center, Nashville pumped five straight goals by Braden Holtby to erase a quick 3-1 deficit and win 6-3.“Growing up, you fall and you get a boo-boo, who do you run to? Mom,” forward Rocco Grimaldi said. “We’re on a six-game losing streak, we’re kind of hurting and banged up, who do we need to come running to? Mom.Article continues below ...“It was a great win by our team Arizona Coyotes Hoodies Authentic , especially going down 3-1.”Having derived inspiration from their mothers, the Predators now try for back-to-back wins Tuesday night when they start the 2019 portion of their schedule in Bridgestone Arena against the Philadelphia Flyers.Nashville (23-15-2) finally found the back of the net with some regularity for the first time in a while. During its six-game losing streak, it managed just 10 goals, getting shut out Thursday night by Dallas’ Anton Khudobin despite putting 49 shots on net.For the first time in weeks, the Predators didn’t display hands of clay around the net. They buried opportunities, and didn’t give up momentum-killing goals after their scores.“We competed really well,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “We played a good game offensively, we were opportunistic and did what we needed to do. Coming from behind a couple of times down by two goals is also a good thing … so lots of positives to pull from today.”Making it even more meaningful was the depth scoring the Predators received. Grimaldi, Miikka Salomaki and Frederick Gaudreau provided unexpected goals. With the team up 4-3 midway through the third period Arizona Coyotes Hats Authentic , defenseman Ryan Ellis produced just his fourth marker to create separation.The arrival of Philadelphia in town would seem to give Nashville a decent chance to earn another two points. The Flyers (15-18-5) fell 3-1 Monday night in Carolina, dropping them into last place in the Metropolitan Division and giving them their eighth loss in 11 games.It was a particularly rough night for goalie Carter Hart, making his fifth NHL start. Hart ceded three goals on just 10 shots before getting the hook just 2:19 into the second period after Andrei Svechnikov beat him.“I’m just going to put it behind me,” Hart said to philly.com. “Learn from it. Put it in the archives and get better. We came out and played hard at the start, and I wasn’t up to the challenge.”Philadelphia is 3-3-1 under interim coach Scott Gordon, who was brought up from its AHL club in Lehigh Valley when Dave Hakstol got the axe following an 0-3-1 road swing through western Canada. The Flyers are 1-2-1 heading into the finale of a five-game road trip.The teams met on December 20 in Philadelphia, where Hart stopped 31 shots in a 2-1 victory.

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