MONTREAL — Andrew Shaw scored twice and Tomas Tatar netted the third-period winner as the Montreal Canadiens came from behind to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 on Saturday night in Max Pacioretty’s return to Montreal.
Charles Hudon and Jesperi Kotkaniemi also scored for the Canadiens (9-5-3), who snapped a two-game losing skid. Max Domi had two assists to extend his point streak to six games.
Goaltender Antti Niemi made 34 saves on 38 shots. Starter Carey Price served as Niemi’s backup after conceding at least four goals in four straight games.
Brad Hunt, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Tuch and William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights (7-9-1). Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21-of-26 shots.
Former Canadiens captain Pacioretty was kept off the score sheet despite taking nine shots on goal in his first game at the Bell Centre as a visiting player.
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Pacioretty was dealt to the Golden Knights in the off-season in return for Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a second-round draft pick. The 29-year-old was given a standing ovation following a video tribute prior to puck drop.
Down 4-3 in the third, the Canadiens scored back-to-back goals.
Shaw tied the game again at 9:26 by swatting a bouncing puck over the pad of an outstretched Fleury.
Tatar scored the winner at 12:17 when his cross-crease pass to Phillip Danault deflected off Shea Theodore’s stick and in.
The Golden Knights took a 2-0 lead after one period through Hunt and Marchessault.
Hunt roofed it short side on the power play at 17:40 for his second of the season.
Marchessault scored 57 seconds later — his team-leading 15th point of the season — when Reilly Smith’s shot went off his skate and in.
Vegas outshot Montreal 15-4 in the first period.
The Canadiens were a different team after the intermission, scoring three unanswered goals in a 3:53 span to take a 3-2 lead.
Hudon halved the deficit at 6:40, on a beautiful pass by Kotkaniemi, as he cut sharply across the crease and avoided Fleury’s stick check for the easy tap-in.
Taking advantage of a scramble in front of Fleury’s net, Shaw equalized at 7:09 with a backhand shot that just trickled past the goal line.
Kotkaniemi gave Montreal its first lead of the game at 9:57 before Tuch made it 3-3 at 14:34 of the second.
Karlsson was credited with a power-play goal at 3:27 of the third period after Matthew Peca accidentally poked the puck past his own goalie to give Vegas a 4-3 lead.
Notes: Canadiens defenceman David Schlemko made his season debut.
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press