Carey Price ready to return after Canadiens fall at Bell Centre 3-2 to Coyotes

Carey Price ready to return after Canadiens fall at Bell Centre 3-2 to Coyotes

Main pic: Arizona Coyotes’ Max Domi takes a shot on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon during third period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Thursday, November 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes. 

MONTREAL — Mike Condon did a solid job holding the fort, but now Carey Price is ready to go back into the Montreal Canadiens net.

Coach Michel Therrien announced after a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night that Price will be in the net when the Canadiens visit the Islanders in New York on Friday. It will be the first start for last season’s Hart and Vezina trophy winner since he suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 29 in Edmonton.

Condon surrendered three goals on his first six shots and that was enough as Arizona (10-8-1) held on for the win.

The 25-year-old rookie was making a ninth straight start. He went 5-2-2 in that span, going six games without a regulation time loss before losing two of the last three.

“He’s been good for us,” said Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher. “Look at his composure since training camp.

“And even in games where we fall behind like this, he seems to make one or two really big saves to keep it at the deficit and give us a chance to come back. That’s what you want from your goalie.”

Condon allowed eight goals in five starts after the Price injury, but let in 16 in the next four. Against the Coyotes, Montreal fell behind 3-0 for a third straight game.

Martin Hanzal and Shane Doan scored in the first period and Oliver Ekman-Larsson added a power-play goal in the second.

Max Pacioretty got one back for Montreal (14-4-2) and Dale Weise closed the deficit to one goal with 51 seconds left to play with Condon pulled for an extra attacker. But goalie Mike Smith and the Coyotes held on for the win.

Montreal outshot Arizona 33-20, including 14-7 in the third frame.

The Coyotes lost the first two games of their four-game road trip by 5-2 scores before arriving in Montreal, where they had two days to regroup.

“I was hoping we’d play well,” said coach Dave Tippett. “We haven’t played well for a couple of games and I was hoping we’d come in and have a really solid effort and we did.

“I liked our speed too. We played the game fast. That’s the team we’re trying to become.”

The Canadiens (14-4-2) are without a regulation time win in the last four games (1-2-1).

They gave up an early goal for a fifth straight game when Montreal native Anthony Duclair used a burst of speed to set up Hanzal for a goal into an open side at 5:04.

A puck hopped over Gallagher’s stick and Tobias Rieder was able to whip a shot off Condon’s shoulder that fell to Doan for a tap-in goal at 9:17.

Ekman-Larsson, with a point in a seventh straight game, cruised into the slot to collect a loose puck and beat Condon with a high wrist shot on a power play 3:51 into the second frame.

Pacioretty got one back as a Gallagher pass went off a skate and the Canadiens captain was able to backhand it inside the right post at 16:59. Weise deflected an Andrei Markov shot in at 19:09.

The Coyotes road trip ends Saturday in Winnipeg, where Doan began his career in 1995-96.

“It’s a place you never forget,” said Doan. “I got to play my first NHL game in that city, so it’s a huge day.”

Canadiens forward Torrey Mitchell left the game in the third period with a undisclosed injury.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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