Hudon shows pa­tience with first NHL goals

Montreal Gazette - - SPORTS - PAT HICKEY ph­ickey@post­ twit­

The mo­ment Charles Hudon was wait­ing for ar­rived Mon­day night as he scored his first two NHL goals to help the Cana­di­ens to a com­mand­ing 8-3 win over the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors.

Hudon had a rep­u­ta­tion as a goal-scorer in ju­nior and in the AHL and he de­liv­ered a pair of beau­ties.

He started what proved to be a hor­rific night for two-time Nor­ris Tro­phy win­ner Erik Karls­son when he scored a power-play goal at 4:27 of the first pe­riod to tie the game at 1-1. He crossed the blue­line with speed and didn’t hes­i­tate as he cut in­side the all-star de­fender and beat Craig An­der­son with a shot off the rush.

“We had some meet­ings with (as­so­ciate coach Kirk Muller) and he said their de­fence was step­ping up at the blue-line,” said Hudon. “I cut to the mid­dle and the puck was still on my tape and I fig­ured I would shoot it.”

Hudon scored what proved to be the game-win­ner later in the first pe­riod when he took a re­bound from a Shea Weber blast off the end boards and beat An­der­son with a back­han­der.

“I saw Webby and I know he has a hard shot and I was look­ing for a re­bound,” said Hudon. “He made a good play to shoot it off the wall and it came right on my tape. My first thought was to shoot right away but I saw no­body was com­ing to put pres­sure on me and I put it up top.”

“He showed great pa­tience on that goal,” said coach Claude Julien. “He’s a goal-scorer and that’s what goal-scor­ers do.”

Scor­ing goals and win­ning games have been prob­lems for the Cana­di­ens, but they have won three of their last four games and have scored 18 goals.

Is it a ques­tion of find­ing some con­fi­dence?

“I think my GM said that a week ago and I think he also said the an­swer is in the room and he’s prov­ing to be right,” said Julien. “You can’t keep los­ing games and feel good about your­self, but when you’re win­ning the con­fi­dence comes back.

“The win is what we were look­ing for, but de­fen­sively I liked the way we de­fended bet­ter than we have, and ob­vi­ously of­fen­sively we’re happy,” added Julien.

“We haven’t scored much but we had five last game and eight tonight. I can see the con­fi­dence com­ing back.”

The Cana­di­ens gave up a goal 21 sec­onds into the game and, a few weeks ago, that might have been a ma­jor prob­lem.

Not in this game.

“To be hon­est, I don’t think there was any panic on our bench,” Julien said.

“We didn’t think it was a great goal and we had plenty of time left. There were times when it might have been one of those here-wego-again mo­ments, but I think that’s past.”

“It was a wild night and, af­ter that first one, I had to re­mind my­self that I’ve been there be­fore,” said Al Mon­toya, who made 25 saves for the win. “You have to put that one be­hind you.”

Alex Galchenyuk was on the ice for 10:43, but that was long enough to score his fourth goal of the sea­son and his third in the last four games. Julien was asked what Galchenyuk has to do to merit more ice time.

“He’s been get­ting bet­ter,” said Julien. “I have to find him more ice time, but it isn’t easy when the guys on the other lines are play­ing well. (Art­turi Lehko­nen) and Hudon each scored two goals on the left side and (Max) Pa­cioretty got a goal. You can spot (Galchenyuk) on the right and slowly but surely we’re go­ing to help him. As we speak, he’s hav­ing suc­cess and we’re go­ing to help him get even more ice time.”


Habs for­ward Charles Hudon, left, cel­e­brates his sec­ond goal of the game Mon­day night as line­mates To­mas Plekanec and Bren­dan Gal­lagher join in.


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