Pacioretty scores 4 as Canadiens drop double digits on Avalanche
Montreal opens game with 6-goal 1st period
The memory of their own lopsided loss was too fresh in the Montreal Canadiens' minds for them to get too excited about laying a one-sided beating on the Colorado Avalanche.
Paced by captain Max Pacioretty's first career four-goal game, the Canadiens routed Colorado 10-1 in their biggest offensive output at home since moving into the Bell Centre in 1996.
That was weighed against a 10-0 beating they took Nov. 4 in Columbus.
"We went through the same thing earlier this year and we know that one game doesn't make our club," said Pacioretty. "They obviously didn't show their best, just like we didn't in our game in Columbus.
"It seemed like everything went against us in that game and tonight everything went against them. We have a lot of respect for that club, but we liked the way we played."
Brian Flynn, Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen scored as Montreal put three goals past starter Calvin Pickard on 10 shots in the opening 7:12. Pacioretty, Paul Byron and Flynn scored on the first four shots against Semyon Varlamov.
Captain rediscovers scoring touch
Pacioretty, who struggled earlier in the season while playing with a hairline fracture in a foot, completed his hat trick in the second period and added another in the third to give him seven goals in his last four games and 12 on the season.
Alexander Radulov and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal (19-6-3), which has shown no drop-off on attack after scoring leader and first line centre Alex Galchenyuk as well as centre David Desharnais both went down for six-to-eight weeks with knee injuries this week. The Canadiens were coming off a 5-2 win over New Jersey on Thursday.
"We have guys that have stepped up," said Petry. "That's what good teams have when injuries come along.
"It's not just one guy. It has to be everybody."
Montreal outshot the Avs 36-16.
Blake Comeau got one late in the first frame for Colorado (10-15-1), which was coming off a win Thursday night in Boston that ended a six-game winless run. The Avs end a four-game road trip Sunday night in Toronto.
Iginla plays 1,500th NHL game
Avalanche winger Jarome Iginla's 1,500th NHL game was a night to forget, but while the 39-year-old didn't figure in the scoring, he took two minor penalties for throwing punches at Alexei Emelin after the Canadiens defenceman clipped Joe Colborne with a low check with less than four minutes to play.
"I've seen him throw hits like that before," said Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog, who returned after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. "I just don't like how he doesn't answer to it after when Iggy comes over.
"Everybody in this room is embarrassed enough. Before the game you want to win the game for Iggy and you want to play for each other and win for each other. So hands down, that was tough to see Iggy have to suffer through that game in such a milestone for him."
Flynn got it started when he scored on a Daniel Carr rebound at 2:56 and Pacioretty wired a wrist shot past Pickard at 5:13. Lehkonen roofed a backhand from the edge of the crease at 7:12.
Varlamov, who allowed six goals on 16 shots, was greeted by Pacioretty's second of the night on a deflection of Andrei Markov's point shot at 8:13. Only 28 seconds later, Byron scored on a breakaway. Flynn's pass intended for Carr went in off Colborne's stick at 13:37.
Comeau got one by Carey Price when he deflected Nikita Zadorov's shot in with 17 seconds left in the first period.
Radulov scored on a one-timer 11:35 into the second period and Pacioretty put one in from the left circle at 18:33. Montreal was on a power play when Petry's weak shot from the point eluded Varlamov's glove with 0.10 seconds left in the period.
Pickard was back in goal to start the third and was beaten at 7:28 when Pacioretty jammed in a Torrey Mitchell rebound.
Tomas Plekanec had four assists. After getting seven points in the Canadiens first 25 games, he has six in the last three.
Montreal's six goals in 13:47 to start a game was not a team record, which is six in 10:35 set on March 10, 1951 against Chicago. It was their first six-goal period since Dec. 17, 1992 against the Quebec Nordiques.