Rookie Hudon leads the way as Habs rout Sens
Montreal Canadiens left wing Alex Galchenyuk (27) scores on the breakaway past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) during second period NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Monday Oct. 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, October 30, 2017 10:32PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:21AM EDT
The Montreal Canadiens are starting to believe in themselves after a rough start to the season.
Charles Hudon scored his first two National Hockey League goals and added an assist as the Canadiens routed the Ottawa Senators 8-3 on Monday night for their first back-to-back wins of the year.
"Offensively we've been a team that hasn't scored much, but five the last game and eight tonight so I can see the confidence coming back with the players," said Montreal head coach Claude Julien.
"You can't keep losing hockey games and feel good about yourself, but you start winning and confidence comes back."
Artturi Lehkonen also struck twice for the Canadiens (4-7-1), while Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec rounded out the attack.
Shea Weber tacked on three helpers and Al Montoya picked up his first win of the season by stopping 25 shots and added an assist.
Montoya called it a wild night and was just happy to see the Canadiens come out on the winning side of things.
"We're making bounces happen, we're making plays happen and guys aren't holding their sticks too tight so we're making plays happen," said Montoya. "It was fun to watch and fun to be a part of."
The Senators would call it anything but fun.
Ottawa is 2-2-5 at home this season leaving head coach Guy Boucher with few answers as to why his team struggles at Canadian Tire Centre.
"I don't know what it is to be honest with you," said Boucher. "Whether it's over-confidence or unconsciously feeling comfortable at home or whatever I don't know what it is, but it's certainly something we have to change and address."
Tom Pyatt, Ryan Dzingel and Chris DiDomenico found the back of the net for Ottawa (5-2-5). Craig Anderson made just nine saves on 15 shots through two periods before being replaced by Mike Condon, who allowed two goals on 14 shots.
Perhaps most notable for the Senators was the fact that captain Erik Karlsson was on the ice for seven Montreal goals.
"I think I've had way worst games and got away with it, (Monday) was not one of those nights," said Karlsson. "It's something you're going to have to deal with throughout the season, throughout your career. I've done it before, I'm going to do it again and it's not something that's going to affect me moving forward. I know what I have to do to be successful and (Monday) was not one of those nights."
Hudon scored both his goals in the first as both teams combined for six goals in the period. The Habs entered the game as the lowest scoring team in the Eastern Conference.
Pyatt opened the scoring just 21 seconds in for the Senators, but Montreal replied at 4:27 as Hudon stepped around Karlsson to beat Anderson short side.
The Canadiens, shorthanded, made it 2-1 as Pacioretty stole the puck from Anderson behind the net to score into an empty net. Ottawa tied things back up as a Mike Hoffman's shot went in off Dzingel. The Canadiens went on to score twice more to lead 4-2 after 20 minutes.
The second was quieter until the halfway mark when DiDomenico scored his second in as many games as the Senators made it 4-3 with a power-play goal.
The Canadiens regained their two-goal cushion as Jordie Benn fed a beautiful pass to Galchenyuk for a breakaway and beat Anderson high. Gallagher made it 6-3 with less than a minute remaining in the period with his fourth of the season.
"Our compete level wasn't high enough to win the game against anybody," said Boucher. "When that happens you're basically opening the door for the opponent to take over and that's what they did so they totally deserve the game and we totally don't."
Condon started the third with his team trailing 6-3, but it didn't take long for the Canadiens to beat him. Plekanec scored short side at 5:10 and Lehkonen made it 8-3 midway through the period.
Notes: The Senators were without D Mark Borowiecki who was a late scratch as he wasn't feeling well, C Kyle Turris (Viral infection, day-to-day) and Bobby Ryan (broken finger, three weeks).