Pacioretty’s hat trick lifts Montreal over Wild
MONTREAL — Montreal left winger Max Pacioretty scored three straight goals in the second period and Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 25 saves in a 6-2 win Tuesday night that ended the Minnesota Wild’s four-game winning streak.
Pacioretty, who entered with two goals in 12 games, opened the scoring 2:57 into the second period with his first tally since Oct. 12. Center David Desharnais picked up his second straight assist on Pacioretty’s second goal at 10:06.
Defenseman P.K. Subban got his second assist at 13:36 when Pacioretty completed his natural hat trick and made it 3-0 with a power-play goal that chased Minnesota goalie Josh Harding from the net.
Left winger Michael Bournival scored Montreal’s fourth goal of the period at 16:16 on the first and only shot Wild backup goalie Darcy Kuemper faced in the second. Center Daniel Briere made it 5-0 with his third goal on the Canadiens’ next shot on Kuemper 4:42 into the third.
Minnesota right winger Nino Niederreiter spoiled Price’s shutout bid with his fourth goal at 5:30, but Canadiens left winger Alex Galchenyuk restored Montreal’s five-goal lead with the Canadiens’ second power-play goal at 7:59.
Wild left winger Dany Heatley scored a power-play goal at 19:58 of the third to close out the scoring.
Montreal is on a 3-1-1 run, including a 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday, following a four-game winless skid.
Pacioretty’s opening goal early in the second period was the Canadiens’ first in 120:23, going back to forward Lars Eller’s power-play goal in the second period of a 3-2 shootout win Friday in Columbus.
Teamed up on a new line with Desharnais and right winger Brendan Gallagher, Pacioretty drove the net and had Desharnais’ pass deflect off his skate and past Harding for his third goal.
He scored his second of the game, his fourth of the season, on another set up from Desharnais, who entered the game with one assist in 19 games.
Pacioretty made it three straight goals when he deflected Subban’s point shot past Harding, who allowed more than two goals for only the second time in 18 games this season.
Harding, who was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on Monday, stopped 16 of 19 shots. Kuemper made six saves.
Notes: Wild D Matt Dumba was left out of the lineup for the seventh time in the past nine games. Dumba, who had 11:41 of ice time in the Wild’s 2-1 win against Winnipeg on Sunday, was selected seventh overall by Minnesota in the first round of the 2012 draft. The 19-year-old rookie has one goal and one assist in 11 games. ... Wild backup G Darcy Kuemper was recalled from AHL Iowa on Monday. His only previous game with Minnesota this season was a start Oct. 15 in Toronto. Kuemper was pulled at 12:23 of the second after allowing his third goal on seven shots in a 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs. ... Canadiens LW Rene Bourque missed a game for the first time this season because of a lower-body injury. He has five goals and one assist in 21 games. ... Montreal had no hat tricks last season. Erik Cole had the Canadiens’ previous three-goal game March 23, 2012, in a 5-1 win against Ottawa.