MONTREAL (AP) Marc-Andre Fleury wouldn’t say if it was his last in Montreal. If it was, it was a fitting finale in his home province for the 38-year-old from Sorel.

Fleury made 27 saves in his first start of the season, was selected the first star and received a standing ovation from the Bell Centre crowd as his Minnesota Wild beat the Canadiens 5-2 on Tuesday night.

“It was a nice moment,” said Fleury, still wiping off the shaving cream teammate Marcus Foligno stuffed in his face during a postgame interview.

“I always said I was a big fan of the Canadiens and to have the people of Quebec here and having the people cheer me on and encourage me, it was a good feeling.”

Fleury told reporters Monday it could be his final start in Montreal. After the game, he was focused on enjoying the moment.

“I’m not sure if it’s done or not,” said Fleury, who had around 90 friends and family in the building. “I don’t want to talk too much of that side of it for today, the present moment was really a special night for me.”

Joel Eriksson Ek had two power-play goals and added an assist for Minnesota.

Kirill Kaprizov added a goal and assisted on both of Eriksson Ek's goals, while Brandon Duhaime and Connor Dewar staked the Wild to a 2-0 lead with short-handed goals 25 seconds apart in the first period.

“Our PK has been good, they’ve obviously pressured and had a lot of good opportunities,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “Nice to get our power play going, too.”

Montreal allowed two short-handed goals on the same power for the first time since April 11, 2009, against Fleury’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mats Zuccarello had three assists.

Tanner Pearson and Alex Newhook scored for Montreal, and Sam Montembeault made 30 saves.

After Pearson cut it to 3-1 midway through the second period, Kaprizov restored the three-goal lead with 2:38 left in the period. Eriksson Ek made it 5-1 at 5:20 of the third with his second goal of the night.

The Wild went 3 for 8 on the power play, while the Canadiens were 0 for 4.

“Too many penalties, you give up two short-handed goals … it’s hard to start the game that way,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “I think we stayed together and we fought, but with all those penalties your game plan doesn’t matter anymore, you can’t find a rhythm.”

The matchup between Fleury and Montembeault marked the first time two Quebec-born goalies faced off in Montreal since Jan. 3, 2006.

“There aren’t as many Quebecois goalies as there used to be,” Fleury said. “I’m wishing him good luck for the season.”


Wild: Host Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Canadiens: Host Washington on Saturday night.



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