Of­fen­sive ex­plo­sion to beat Sens

Montreal Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - PAT HICKEY ph­ickey@post­ twit­

The Cana­di­ens made the most of their op­por­tu­ni­ties as they scored six goals on their first 15 shots en route to an 8-3 vic­tory over the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors Mon­day night at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre. Charles Hudon led the of­fence with his first two NHL goals and Art­turi Lehko­nen also scored twice. Al Mon­toya, who re­ceived the nod over Carey Price, recorded his first win over the sea­son. It was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive win for the Cana­di­ens, who have scored 13 goals in those games. With the win, the Cana­di­ens im­proved to 4-7-1.

Spe­cial teams de­liver: Af­ter fall­ing be­hind 1-0 at the 21-sec­ond mark, the Mon­treal spe­cial teams came through with a power-play goal and a short-handed goal to take a 2-1 lead, Charles Hudon, who es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion as a goalscorer in the AHL, scored his first NHL goal on the power play at 4:27 of the first pe­riod. Hudon, who was play­ing in his 18th NHL game, car­ried the puck over the blue-line, cut in­side an Ot­tawa de­fender and beat Craig An­der­son with a shot off the rush. Rookie de­fence­man Vic­tor Mete went off for hold­ing at 6:27 and each team scored a goal when he was in the penalty box. Max Pa­cioretty pres­sured An­der­son as he went be­hind the net to play the puck. Pa­cioretty wound up with the puck and came around the net to score his fourth of the sea­son. He has scored in three of Mon­treal’s last four games. Mete was still in the box when Ryan Dzin­gel de­flected Mike Hoff­man’s shot from the point.

Break­ing out: The Cana­di­ens scored twice in a 2:43 span late in the first pe­riod to take a 4-2 lead.

Lehko­nen scored his first of the sea­son at 13:17 on a tick-tack-toe play with Jonathan Drouin, who dis­played his abil­ity to ma­noeu­vre in traf­fic. Hudon scored his sec­ond goal when he picked up the re­bound from a Shea Weber shot off the end boards. The goal gave the Cana­di­ens four goals on seven shots.

Not the way to start: The Sen­a­tors opened the scor­ing when Bran­don David­son gave the puck away in the de­fen­sive zone and Tom Py­att beat Mon­toya on the first shot of the game.

Break­ing out: Af­ter 28-year-old rookie Chris DiDomenico scored a power-play at 10:34 of the sec­ond pe­riod to cut the Mon­treal lead to 4-3. Alex Galchenyuk, and Bren­dan Gal­lagher re­sponded with their fourth goals of the sea­son. Jordie Benn’s stretch pass sent Galchenyuk off on a clean break­away at 17:41. It as his third goal in the past four games and his first even-strength goal of the sea­son, Gal­lagher fought off Cody Ceci as he drove the net and beat An­der­son at 19:29. Mike Con­don re­placed An­der­son af­ter the sec­ond pe­riod and gave up goals to To­mas Plekanec and Lehko­nen. Two-time Nor­ris Tro­phy win­ner Erik Karls­son was on the ice for the first seven Mon­treal goals and was mi­nus-6 on the night.

In­jury up­date: Nikita Scherbak, who was in­jured in Satur­day’s win over the New York Rangers, has a knee in­jury which will re­quire surgery. He will be out for a min­i­mum of six weeks.

The road con­tin­ues: The Habs head to Min­nesota Thurs­day to play the Wild (8 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Ra­dio) as they be­gin a three-game road trip. They are in Win­nipeg Satur­day and Chicago Sun­day.


Cana­di­ens fans cheer as Habs winger Bren­dan Gal­lagher cel­e­brates his goal against the Sen­a­tors dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod in Ot­tawa on Mon­day.

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