VANCOUVER – Jared McCann scored twice and Ryan Miller made 25 saves as the Vancouver Canucks beat Montreal 5-1 on Tuesday to hand the Canadiens their first loss of the season.
Montreal (9-1-0) had set an NHL record with nine straight regulation wins to start the year, and was one victory from tying the best start in league history set by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres.
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 for the first time on home ice in six tries this season.
Torrey Mitchell replied for the Canadiens, while Carey Price stopped 23 shots.
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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 past Miller 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.
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 period when Prust ripped a shot into Price’s glove that he 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.
Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher came within inches of tying it moments later, but his one-timer on a 3-on-2 rang off the post behind Miller and stayed out.
The Canucks made it 2-0 at 9:12 when Sbisa scored his first of the campaign on a shot from the point that Canadiens defenceman Nathan Beaulieu tipped up and over Price on a delayed penalty.
Montreal had another great chance to get on the board after that, but Miller stretched to stop David Desharnais’ shot off a feed from Tomas Fleischmann on a 2-on-0 down low.
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McCann, a 19-year-old playing just his seventh NHL game, then extended Vancouver’s lead to three with 4:08 left in the period after Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban iced the puck. McCann won the faceoff to Prust, who was traded from Montreal to Vancouver this summer, and he in turn handed it back to the rookie to take a quick shot and bury his fourth.
The Canadiens, who came in with a league-high 35 goals scored, played a better second period and were gifted a great opportunity with eight minutes to go on a Sbisa turnover. Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty fired a shot that Miller got a piece of before Sbisa redeemed himself by clearing the loose puck from the crease.
Miller, who was part of the 2006-07 Sabres team that started the year 10-0-0, followed that up with a stop on Tomas Plekanec later in the period to maintain Vancouver’s 3-0 lead through two.
Notes: Miller improved to 27-12-6 in his career against Montreal. … Prust appeared to injure his left ankle in the second period and did not return. … Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis sat out with a lower-body injury. … Canucks forward Jake Virtanen picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Dorsett’s goal.