MONTREAL (AP) — Cole Caufield forced overtime with 8.7 seconds left in regulation and then scored the winner in overtime to help the Montreal Canadiens snap a 10-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Paul Byron also scored and Samuel Montembeault stopped 26 shots for the Canadiens, whose last win came on Jan. 18 at Dallas.
The victory was the first for interim coach Martin St. Louis, who was 0-3-0 since taking over for the fired Dominique Ducharme.
“It’s been a big week for me,” St. Louis said. “Ten days ago, I was dropping off my kids at practice and I was on the ice with bantam players. Flash forward to now and I’m four games in as a coach getting my first win.”
Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Blues, and Ville Husso made 27 saves.
With 1:19 to go and the game tied at 1, Buchnevich powered his way to what looked to be the winning goal with a slap shot from the right faceoff circle.
But Caufield forced overtime on a one-timer with less than nine seconds remaining. The rookie wasn’t done there, giving Montreal the win off another one-timer.
The players gave the game puck to their coach.
“It’s a puck that I’ll always remember,” St. Louis said. “You can win your first game in many ways, but to win it on a comeback with an extra attacker and an overtime winner is special.”
Caufield said he and his teammates were “pumped” for St. Louis to get his first victory as coach.
“I think the buzz around the room is pretty high right now for that reason,” Caufield said. “It’s obviously big for our team, but to get his first under his belt, hopefully we can string some together now.”
Playing in his 500th NHL game, Byron got his first goal of the season and gave Montreal a rare opening marker this season by scoring at the 7:13 mark of the first period.
The Blues tied it on a short-handed effort with 1:34 to go in the first when Thomas and Buchnevich exchanged passes on the rush and Thomas beat Montembeault with his seventh goal of the season.
St. Louis: At Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Montreal: At New York Islanders on Sunday.