Zucker's hat trick lifts Wild to shutout victory in Montreal
MONTREAL -- Three was the number of the day Thursday.
The Montreal Canadiens' winning streak was snapped at three games when they fell 3-0 to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The Wild snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Canadiens for the seventh consecutive time.
Left winger Jason Zucker scored a natural hat trick for Minnesota (6-7-2), all in the third period.
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves for his first shutout of the season and 25th of his career as Minnesota rebounded after a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
The Wild broke through on Habs goalie Charlie Lindgren in the third when Zucker scored a short-handed goal 2:46 into the period for a 1-0 advantage.
Zucker scored his second of the night at 11:23, putting the Wild up 2-0. Nino Niederreiter added his second helper of the season on the goal.
The Canadiens (7-9-1) managed to get one past Dubnyk, as Charles Hudon appeared to score with five minutes to go in the final frame. However, the goal was disallowed after a coach's challenge and video review found interference on the play. The Bell Centre crowd booed the officials' decision heavily, and the fans filtered out of the building soon after.
Zucker completed the hat trick, scoring an empty-netter with 35 seconds to go.
Lindgren stopped 32 of 34 shots in the loss, his first in six starts for the Canadiens.
Despite not getting many chances early on, the Canadiens saw defender Karl Alzner get the puck past Dubnyk with 13:39 left to play in the first. The goal was ultimately disallowed, however, as it was deemed to have been batted in by a high stick.
The Canadiens were without forward Jonathan Drouin, who sustained an upper-body injury during the second period of Montreal's 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. Drouin's status remains day-to-day. Defenseman Shea Weber was also sidelined on Thursday night, dealing with a lower-body injury that he sustained in practice.
NOTES: Canadiens G Charlie Lindgren made his third straight start for injured G Carey Price (lower-body injury), who missed his fourth straight game. ... The Thursday night contest was the 200th game that Claude Julien coached in his two stints with Montreal. ... Wild G Devan Dubnyk made his second start in as many nights. ... The Wild were without the services of LW Zach Parise (back) and C Charlie Coyle (leg), who continue to nurse their respective injuries.