Lucas Lessio lifts Canadiens over Ducks
Montreal ends 2-game losing streak
It was a night of firsts for Montreal Canadiens newcomers Mike Brown, Lucas Lessio, Joel Hanley and Darren Dietz.
Brown's goal and the game-winner by Lessio were their first since joining the Canadiens this season, while young defencemen Hanley and Dietz each picked up their first NHL point as the Canadiens downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Tuesday night.
With 11 players out with injuries, the Canadiens have been calling in reinforcements nearly every game of late, and some chose the game against the high-flying Ducks to make their mark.
"Lucky bounces, but it was a cool feeling," said Hanley, whose two assists gave him two points from his first two NHL games. "Everyone's fighting for something, whether it's next year or a spot on the team."
Brown was named first star of the game for what he said was the first time in his career as he scored Montreal's third goal and then did the dirty work to dig out the puck for Lessio's game-winner at 8:13 of third period. Dietz got the second assist on the goal for his first point in five NHL games.
"We knew it was going to be a hard game to play," the much-travelled Brown said. "We never expected to be where we were in the third period, so for us it was great.
"We got the two points. I'm happy to be here and to play for these fans. I've played here a lot for other teams and it's nice to be on this side."
Torrey Mitchell and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens (34-34-6), who ended a two-game losing run.
Jakob Silfverberg scored a pair while Corey Perry notched a single for the Ducks (40-23-9), who wasted a chance to clinch a Western Conference playoff spot.
"I don't think that was even mentioned in the room," said Silfverberg, whose team gets another chance Thursday night in Toronto. "Our focus now is to get ahead of the (Pacific Division-leading) L.A. Kings and we're only looking up in the standings, not behind.
"It's a matter of winning games and tonight we didn't do it."
Silfverberg has six goals and two assists in his last five games.
"I'm just trying to shoot the puck more," he said. "I'm skating more and getting more opportunities."
Anaheim outshot Montreal 34-23.
Mitchell tipped a Tomas Plekanec point shot just under the crossbar 8:28 into the game.
Silfverberg scored on a rush at 14:30 with a wrist shot that went straight through Mike Condon's pads.
Perry banged in a rebound 1:55 into the second frame for his 30th of the season. It is the sixth season in his career that Perry has scored 30 or more goals and the third in a row.
Montreal struck back with two, as Galchenyuk one-timed a Max Pacioretty pass into an open side at 8:58 and Brown went in alone after Anaheim failed to clear its zone and beat John Gibson at 10:14.
A similar play at the opposite end of the ice put Silfverberg in for his second of the game.