NHL Hockey

Coyotes' Galchenyuk headed "home" to Montreal

Wednesday's game promises to be a bit emotional for Alex Galchenyuk.

The Arizona Coyotes forward will be making his first trip back to Montreal since being dealt in the offseason.

"I have a lot of great friends in Montreal," Galchenyuk told reporters this weekend in Toronto. "I'm definitely happy they're doing good."

Galchenyuk, the third overall selection by the Canadiens in the 2012 NHL draft, was swapped for Max Domi on June 15.

While Galchenyuk missed the first three weeks of the season with a lower-body injury and later had a 16-game goalless drought, Domi has 16 goals and 28 assists in 50 games for the Canadiens, who currently hold the first wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 home loss Saturday against Philadelphia.

Galchenyuk has eight goals and 17 assists in 39 games for the Coyotes, who are 6-1-1 in their past eight games, including a 3-2 victory Tuesday night in Ottawa.

Since the drought, which included a 2-1 home loss to the Canadiens on Dec. 20, Galchenyuk has five goals and nine assists in the past 15 games.

"I always put pressure on myself to be productive," Galchenyuk said. "That's my job, to create offense. When I came to Arizona, it stayed the same."

Galchenyuk shied away from making any comparisons with Domi.

"Everybody's their own player," he said. "Max is doing great and I'm happy for him, but we're two completely different players. I can't really compare myself to what he's doing."

Domi, who already returned to Arizona last month, also downplayed the matchup.

"Every team's trying to win hockey games right now," Domi told NHL.com after practice Tuesday. "Teams are going to win, teams are going to lose. We're not focused on that, we're focused on ourselves. We're coming off a rough game and we got to bounce back. Had a good day of practice (Tuesday) and we're sharp as a group. Get some rest and get ready to go."

The Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher broke into the NHL with Galchenyuk as rookies in 2012-13.

"I'm sure he's excited," Gallagher told NHL.com about Galchenyuk's return to the Bell Centre. "We went through quite a bit together here. Obviously, a lot of good memories coming up and playing together. He's still a pretty good friend of mine, so you want to see him do well. Obviously, you don't want to see him do well (Wednesday), but I hope he enjoys the moment, I hope he enjoys the atmosphere. I'm sure the fans will be excited to see him back at the Bell Centre. You know he's going to enjoy the moment, which I'm sure he's really looking forward to.

"I still talk to him. Like I said, we kind of came up together right from our rookie year, a lot of really good memories. He's somebody that you want to see have success and I think as of late definitely that's been there for him and I'm really happy to see it. I know he's been scoring a lot lately and doing his thing, which is good to see. He's obviously a good player and it's something that you're happy for."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 23, 2019

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