Offensive explosion to beat Sens
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.