Canadiens' top line clicking as pre-season ends with 9-2 rout of Senators | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Canadiens' top line clicking as pre-season ends with 9-2 rout of Senators

Montreal Canadiens' Jacob De La Rose scores against Ottawa Senators goaltender Mike Condon as Senators' Alexandre Burrows defends during third period NHL pre-season hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, September 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
September 30, 2017 - 8:28 PM

MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens' first line is clicking at just the right time.

Centre Jonathan Drouin and wingers Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty combined for three goals and nine points as the Canadiens emphatically beat the Ottawa Senators 9-2 on Saturday in the last pre-season game for both teams.

"There are 82 games and hopefully we can stay together and be productive the whole way," said Gallagher, who led with two goals an assist. "If we all do our jobs, we're capable of being effective in this league."

Gallagher, who's looking for a bounce-back year after a career low 10 goals last season, got the ball rolling for Montreal.

After Kyle Turris scored the opener 22 seconds into the game on the power play for the Senators, Gallagher put away the equalizer at 11:04 by poking a loose puck from his knees between Craig Anderson's pads.

With Montreal already leading 4-1, Gallagher got his second of the game at 2:11 of the third period when he tipped Drouin's shot past Anderson. Pacioretty added another for the home side 18 seconds later with an easy redirection in front of goal.

The Canadiens captain finished with one goal and two assists. Drouin had three assists.

All three players were dangerous nearly every shift, especially on the power play.

"Pacioretty draws so much attention with his speed," said Gallagher. "He's driving at defencemen and putting them on their heels. And the way Drouin comes into the neutral zone with the puck. We didn't dump the puck in too much, we were able to carry it in with control.

"For me it's easy to do my job when you're playing with those two guys. Just get to the net and try to whack a couple in."

The Canadiens (2-6-0) ended their pre-season on a high note after dropping their first six games, where they scored a combined nine goals.

Montreal's offence erupted for another nine goals on Saturday as the Canadiens outshot Ottawa 40-17.

"We didn't change anything, really," said Drouin. "We had four lines rolling. We got traffic in front of goal and our defencemen weren't getting their shots blocked.

"When you have four lines rolling, nobody can stop you."

Montreal also got goals from Jacob De La Rose, with two, Alex Galchenyuk, Andrew Shaw, Shea Weber and Victor Mete.

Turris and Mark Stone scored the only goals for the Senators (3-3-0).

"We have to learn from this and learn fast," said Ottawa's Alex Burrows. "It was one of those nights where nothing was going our way. It wasn't fun tonight. We got embarrassed. We have to move on."

Galchenyuk and Shaw scored 26 seconds apart at the end of the first period to take a 3-1 lead into the intermission.

Weber added a fourth for Montreal with a slap shot from the point on a 5-on-3 power play at 1:24 of the second period.

Stone got one back for the visitors at 5:46 of the third period to make it 6-2 before De La Rose put an end to the improbable comeback less than two minutes later. The 22-year-old added his second with a wrist shot at 10:04.

Defenceman Mete, with his first in a Canadiens uniform, beat backup goalie Mike Condon at 13:43 on the power play.

Ottawa took eight minor penalties in the game to Montreal's seven.

"We can't be in the penalty box all night and expect to get anything good coming out of it, momentum or scoring chances," said Senators coach Guy Boucher. "When you're constantly in the penalty box, you're always in trouble and you can't get anything from that."

Both teams open their regular seasons on Thursday. Ottawa hosts the Washington Capitals while Montreal faces the Sabres in Buffalo.

Notes: Montreal's Andreas Martinsen was a healthy scratch. … Former Habs great Patrick Roy was in attendance.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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