Brendan Gallagher netted two goals and Jonathan Drouin picked up three primary assists in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, where the Canadiens handed the Ducks their fifth consecutive loss. Carey Price made 24 saves for his 22nd win of the year.
Gallagher started the duck hunt a little less than halfway through the first period when he sniped his 20th of the season right under the crossbar on Chad Johnson’s glove side, taking the Anaheim netminder by surprise with his quick release of Jonathan Drouin’s pass.
Montreal’s offence didn’t stop at one in the opening period, as Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored in his third straight game to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead about two minutes after Gallagher’s goal. Johnson originally turned away Armia’s shot with his left pad on the play, but he kicked the puck right into the slot where Kotkaniemi shot his ninth of the season into the net.
Gallagher’s second, and Montreal’s third, of the night came in the final five minutes of the opening period, as Gallagher one-timed the puck low on Johnson’s blocker side and beat him for the second time in less than 20 minutes. Drouin and Weber picked up assists on Gallagher’s 21st, making the first period a four-point one for Gallagher and Drouin combined.
Though the Canadiens had two power-play opportunities in the second period, Ryan Getzlaf scored the lone goal of the period to reduce the Ducks’ deficit to two. Corey Perry’s shot went just wide and fooled Price, allowing for Getzlaf to take the puck behind the net and score on a wraparound.
A penalty against the Canadiens just 34 seconds after Getzlaf’s goal gave the Ducks the opportunity to bounce back into the game, but Price shut the Ducks out for the remainder of the game and limited Anaheim to their one goal.
By the end of the second period, the Canadiens were not only ahead on the scoreboard but also substantially in shots, as they outshot the Ducks 26-17 after 40 minutes of play.
Gallagher came close to getting a hat trick in the opening minute of the third period as he jammed the puck against Johnson’s pads and made it difficult for the goaltender to track the puck, but ultimately Johnson found it and held on for a whistle.
Gallagher was not done getting on the scoresheet, however, and neither was Drouin, as Gallagher got a secondary assist and Drouin the primary when he passed the puck behind him from behind the net to Phillip Danault, who backhanded it on net. Johnson got a piece of the puck and it was believed he had made a spectacular save, until a video review confirmed that the puck had crossed the goal line. It was Danault’s 10th of the season.
Anaheim take a penalty halfway through the third period, but the Canadiens power play was 0/3 on the night.
In the end, Danault’s goal was the final one of the game, locking in at 4-1 win for Montreal, their third victory in as many tries since the bye week.
Montreal’s homestand continues on Thursday as the Canadiens welcome the Winnipeg Jets to town.