Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Galchenyuk posted his first career hat trick to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Brandon Prust also scored and Max Pacioretty supplied three assists for the Canadiens, who won their third straight game. Carey Price made 25 saves in the win.
"It feels great. My linemates made it easy for me. I had a lot of fun out there tonight," Galchenyuk said. "We had good chemistry tonight."
Victor Rask supplied Carolina's lone goal and Cam Ward gave up all four goals on 29 shots in his team's sixth straight loss.
"You have to believe that you are going to score," Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said. "We have to quit dropping the stick as tight as we are and shoot to score when you go to the net."
Early on, David Desharnais took a cross-ice feed from Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and skated down the left side to below the goal line, dragging Ward out of position. Prust received a pass from Desharnais and buried the puck into a wide-open net to open the scoring 9:15 into the contest.
Galchenyuk increased Montreal's lead with a wrister from the right circle off a tic-tac-toe passing play at 8:33 of the second.
After an errant pass from a Canadiens defender, Jeff Skinner skated behind the net and wristed a shot from the right circle. Price made the stop, but did not know where it was. Rask barreled through the crease and chopped it past the goal line for a 2-1 game 6:47 into the final stanza.
Galchenyuk put the game away with two late goals separated by just 1:09. He broke into the Carolina zone on a breakaway and beat Ward blocker side at 16:41.
Pacioretty tracked down a loose puck at the left circle and slid a pass to Galchenyuk, who completed the hat trick with a quick wrister to account for the final score with 2:10 to play.
The Canadiens are 12-0-0 when scoring first this season ... Montreal is 8-1-2 in its last 11 games against Carolina ... Skinner registered his 200th career point ... Carolina forward Justin Shugg made his NHL debut after being recalled from Charlotte (AHL) on Monday ... The season series resume on Dec. 29 in Carolina.