Canadiens burst to life, win their first game in regulation time
Published Tuesday, October 24, 2017 10:11PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, October 25, 2017 8:14AM EDT
Montreal Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber, centre, celebrates with teammates Jonathan Drouin (92) and Paul Byron (41) THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL -- Shea Weber scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens ended their seven-game losing skid with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty also scored for the Canadiens (2-6-1), which had not won since their season opener. Carey Price made 26 saves and Jonathan Drouin had two assists.
Keith Yandle scored the only goal for the Panthers (3-5-0) while James Reimer stopped 32-of-37 shots in defeat. Reimer got the start with Roberto Luongo still injured (right hand).
Montreal scored five goals for the first time this season. Their previous high was three. Claude Julien's men had scored a combined five goals on their winless California road trip (0-3-0) coming into Tuesday's game.
But being back home, where Montreal was previously winless this season, sparked the team's struggling offence.
Down 1-0, the Canadiens broke the game wide open with three goals in 1:35 in the second period.
Galchenyuk got the first, on the power play, at 16:44. The 23-year-old, who played on the fourth line with Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron, drove hard to the net and cashed in Gallagher's rebound.
With the Habs again on the power play a minute later, Weber made it 2-1 with a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle at 18:02, beating Reimer glove side.
Gallagher scored 17 seconds later as he skipped over a sprawled-out Aaron Ekblad and beat Reimer while falling to the ice.
Montreal outshot Florida 15-6 in the second period and 37-27 in the game.
Weber made it 4-1 midway through the third period with another slap shot from the top of the faceoff dot before Pacioretty sealed the encounter with his second of the season at 11:06.
Yandle scored 20 seconds into the second period after a clever drop pass by Jonathan Huberdeau fooled the defence.
Scherbak and McCarron, who were recalled from the Laval Rocket of the AHL on Monday, were making their season debuts.