Jesperi Kotkaniemi says he’s never heard such a loud roar from the crowd.
Kotkaniemi scored his first two NHL goals and the Canadiens beat the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 6-4 on Thursday night. Montreal’s Max Domi broke a tie with 21 seconds left, and Joel Armia had an empty-netter two seconds later for the fastest two goals in NHL history.
“It was a special moment to share that with the fans. That’s the best thing I can get,” Kotkaniemi said. “It was pretty fun. That was pretty crazy. I’ve never heard a crowd like that.”
Kotkaniemi tied it with his second of the night with 3:04 remaining. Surrounded by three Capitals players, the Finn got his stick on the puck and his shot trickled past Holtby. At 18 years and 118 days old, Kotkaniemi became the second-youngest goal scorer in franchise history.
Domi gave the Canadiens the lead when Holtby fanned on his wrist shot. Armia added an empty-netter off the ensuing faceoff, a record-breaking two goals in two seconds.
“To see (Kotkaniemi) light it up twice was pretty special,” said Max Domi, who scored the game winner minutes later. “He deserves it and I can’t wait to see what the future is for him now.
“He’s been unbelievable since the start of the year. He’s a special player and he’s going to be really good player for a long, long time in this league and for this team.”
Kotkaniemi was given the game puck, which he said he might give to his mom.
“I hope she’s not crying now,” Kotkaniemi said about his mother, who shed tears when her son scored a goal during the preseason. “I hope she’s happy now.”
Brendan Gallagher also had two goals, and Carey Price stopped 27 shots for his fifth victory of the season to help the Canadiens improve to 7-3-2.
Alex Ovechkin and Lars Eller each scored twice for the Capitals, and Braden Holtby made 38 saves.
“A lot of uncharacteristic mistakes for us,” Eller said. “Turnovers at the blue line, not executing passes in our own zone, fumbling the puck. Weird game. It’s not usually how we play.”
NOTES: Ovechkin has 11 points in his past seven games. … Brooks Orpik (lower-body-injury) was out for Washington.
Capitals: Host Dallas on Saturday night.
Canadiens: Host Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
Source: The Associated Press