Jeff Petry had a three-point night including a pair of goals, and the host Montreal Canadiens torched the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 on Monday.
It’s the third time in less than two weeks that the Canadiens (6-1-2) have routed the Canucks (6-6-0).
Nick Suzuki and Artturi Lehkonen each scored and registered a helper, while Montreal also got goals from Brendan Gallagher and Tyler Toffoli. Adam Gaudette and Jay Beagle responded with goals for Vancouver. Canadiens netminder Carey Price had 27 saves and Braden Holtby stopped 34-of-40 shots for the Canucks.
The result snapped a four-game win streak for Vancouver.
Montreal was coming off its first regulation loss of the season, having dropped a 2-0 decision to Calgary on Saturday. The Habs had all but sealed the result heading into the third period with a 6-1 lead thanks to four straight goals.
Beagle put a dent in Montreal’s cushion 11:49 into the final frame, beating Price with a quick shot from low in the slot and cutting the lead to 6-2. The damage had already been done for the Canucks, however, after the Canadiens repeatedly capitalized on some sloppy giveaways.
A turnover in the neutral zone gave Gallagher a breakaway 7:15 into the second period. The winger faked a shot, then beat Holtby with a backhand to put Montreal up 4-1.
Petry added to the carnage with his second of the night, set up by Corey Perry. The right-winger slid a crisp pass across the crease to the Canadiens defenceman, who deftly poked it in. The assist marked the 800th point of Perry’s NHL career.
Toffoli added a power-play goal 17:11 into the second frame after Gaudette was called for holding. A shot hit Vancouver defenceman Tyler Myers in the knee and bounced out to Canadiens captain Shea Weber, who sent it to Toffoli waiting in the slot. The former Canuck ripped a shot past Holtby to put Montreal up 6-1.
Six of Toffoli’s seven goals this season have come against Vancouver.
Montreal already had a healthy two-goal lead heading into the second period. Suzuki opened the scoring just a minute into Monday’s game. Josh Anderson sent the centre a pass from below the goal line and Suzuki popped it in past Holtby to put Montreal up 1-0. Lehkonen padded the lead with a short-handed strike 6:10 into the frame after Jesperi Kotkaniemi was called for tripping.
Deep in the Vancouver zone, Lehkonen stole the puck from Gaudette and put a shot through Holtby’s legs.
Montreal’s penalty kill has been lethal this season, tallying six short-handed goals. Three have come against Vancouver.
Gaudette responded just over two minutes later, forcing a turnover by Canadiens rookie Alexander Romanov in the Canucks end. Gaudette picked off the puck and sprinted down the ice, sailing a shot past Price’s glove to make it 2-1.
Montreal regained the two-goal advantage before the end of the first when Vancouver seemingly forgot about Petry on a Canadiens line change. Paul Byron slid the veteran defenceman a pass and he sent a wrist shot careening past Holtby from the top of the slot.
The two sides will meet again in Montreal on Tuesday.
NOTES: Victor Mete made his season debut for the Canadiens. An agent for the 22-year-old defenceman said over the weekend that Mette was looking for a trade out of Montreal. … Jake Virtanen returned to Vancouver’s lineup in place of Antoine Roussel. Virtanen was a healthy scratch for the Canucks two previous games. … Lehkonen was skating in his 300th NHL game.
The Canadian Press