The Montreal Canadiens exploded for four goals in the second period and held on to win 6-3 over the Nashville Predators Saturday to snap their four-game losing skid, despite a third-period hat trick from Matt Duchene.
Ryan Poehling, with two, Artturi Lehkonen, Christian Dvorak, Brendan Gallagher and Tyler Toffoli, into the empty net, scored for Montreal (5-13-2). Toffoli, Jonathan Drouin and Chris Wideman picked up two assists each.
Habs goaltender Samuel Montembeault allowed three goals on 36 shots.
Duchene scored his third-period hat trick in less than 10 minutes for the losing Predators (9-7-1).
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Juuse Saros allowed five goals on 19 shots and was pulled in the second period. David Rittich blocked all nine shots in relief.
The Predators thought they had levelled the score in the first period but referee Corey Syvret waved the goal off, judging that Luke Kunin directed the puck into the net with his arm.
Montreal doubled its lead at the start of the second period when Josh Anderson made a no-look, backhand pass for Dvorak who bagged his third of the campaign.
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Gallagher made it 3-0 for the Habs on the power play at 3:32. The veteran received a pass from Drouin and tapped the puck in.
Following Poehling’s second marker, Nashville head coach John Hynes pulled Saros in favour of Rittich.
Duchene scored power-play goals at 6:36 and 12:53 of the third period before completing his hat trick at even strength at 16:27 to bring the Predators within one.
The Preds pulled their goalie to complete the comeback but Toffoli sealed the 6-3 win with an empty-netter.