MONTREAL (AP) — Mathieu Perreault had a hat trick and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 on Saturday night to end their season-opening losing streak at five.
Born and raised in Drummondville, Perreault is the first Quebec native to score a hat trick for the Canadiens at home since Vincent Damphousse in 1998.
“You don’t even dream about moments like that,” Perreault said. “You just dream about being in the NHL, maybe have a chance to play for the Canadiensm but to actually score a hat trick in your home building, it’s not even stuff you dream about so it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“It’s something I may never experience again so I was just trying to take in as much out of it.”
Perreault, Christian Dvorak and Mike Hoffman all scored their first goals in Canadiens uniforms. Defenseman Sami Niku also earned his first points in his first start, finishing with two assists. Jake Allen made 26 saves.
“It’s good to get that first one but the one thing now, the reason it will make us better is that we don’t want to go back,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said. “Nobody wants to have that feeling again. It was the longest 10 days.”
Detroit goalie Thomas Greiss was pulled in the second period after conceding five goals on 17 shots. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all six shots in relief.
“We were playing good hockey, we scored on the power play (but) we took three offensive-zone penalties and that’s something that’s plagued us throughout the early part of the season,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’ve taken too many penalties. We’ve talked about it, we got to stay out of the box and we certainly can’t take offensive-zone penalties.”
Montreal gave up a power play early in the first period and the Red Wings took no time to find the opening goal, with Larkin beating Allen into the upper right-hand corner.
Ben Chiarot responded for Canadiens with 5:50 to go in the first period. The defenseman scored off a cross-ice pass from Jonathan Drouin.
The Canadiens scored two goals in a game for the first time this season when Hoffman connected on a power play.
Detroit: At Chicago on Sunday in the second of a three-game trip.
Montreal: Tuesday at Seattle to face the expansion Kraken.
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