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Canadiens rookie Nick Suzuki scores first NHL goal in victory over Wild

AP

Carey Price made 17 saves for his first shutout of the season and Victor Mete and Nick Suzuki scored their first NHL goals in a first-period burst in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

Joel Armia and Brendan Gallagher also scored and Nick Cousins had an assist in his Montreal debut to help the Canadiens improve to 3-2-2. The 32-year-old Price has 45 career shutouts.

Alex Stalock stopped 28 shots for the reeling Wild. They dropped to 1-6-0.

Playing his 127th NHL game, the 21-year-old Mete opened the scoring with 5:23 left in the first. He found space in the slot, took a backhand pass from Cousins from behind the net and beat Stalock to the glove side. That ended the longest goal drought to start a career in Canadiens history, a mark previously held by Mike Komisarek at 122 games.

“It feels good to finally get that out of the way,” Mete said. “That was pretty cool. The crowd was going pretty nuts. It was ear-piercing. Everybody’s wanted me to score for quite a while so to see everyone get as excited as they did, it’s pretty special. It means a lot.”

He ended the longest goal drought to start a career in Canadiens history, a mark previously held by Mike Komisarek at 122 games. It also ended the longest active drought in the league.

“The fans saw him score his first goal and they made sure to show him their support,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said. “No doubt, it’s going to be engraved in his mind. Definitely a special night for him.”

Armia connected on a 5-on-3 power play with 2:28 left, and Suzuki, a native of London, Ontario, scored with 37 seconds remaining in the period. It was the 20-year-old Suzuki’s seventh NHL game.

Gallagher finished the scoring in the third period.

The Canadiens beat Minnesota for the first time since Nov. 8, 2014, snapping a streak of nine losses.

Mete and Suzuki, meanwhile, became the first Montreal players to score their first NHL goals in the same game since 2005, when Chris Higgins and Alexander Perezhogin did it against the New York Rangers.

Golden Knights 3, Senators 2 (SO)

In Las Vegas, Jonathan Marchessault recorded his first career shootout game-winning goal as the Golden Knights edged Ottawa.

Vegas fired a franchise-record 54 shots on goal.

Reilly Smith and Nick Holden scored for Vegas.

Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves.

Islanders 3, Jets 1

In Winnipeg, Mathew Barzal scored two second-period goals and Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves in New York’s victory over the hosts.

Canucks 4, Blues 3 (SO)

In St. Louis, Josh Leivo delivered the lone shootout goal and Thatcher Demko stopped 31 shots in Vancouver’s victory over the Blues.

Lightning 4, Bruins 3 (SO)

In Boston, Steven Stamkos had the only goal in the shootout, lifting Tampa Bay over the hosts.

After the first three shooters for both sides failed, Stamkos put a wrist shot past Tuukka Rask. Andrei Vasilevskiy then stopped Jake DeBrusk.

Coyotes 5, Predators 2

In Glendale, Arizona, Phil Kessel scored his first two goals for Arizona, and Christian Dvorak netted his third goal in two games in the Coyotes’ victory over Nashville.

Devils 5, Rangers 2

In Newark, New Jersey, Kyle Palmieri and Myles Wood tallied in the second period and the hosts held off New York for their first victory of the season.

Flames 5, Red Wings 1

In Calgary, Sam Bennett, Derek Ryan and Mark Giordano scored in a 5:18 span of the third period to break open a close game in the Flames’ rout of Detroit.

Sabres 3, Kings 0

In Los Angeles, Carter Hutton made 47 saves for his second straight shutout and Casey Mittelstadt scored twice in Buffalo’s win over the Kings.

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