MONTREAL — After starting the season with an 0-5 record, the Montreal Canadiens notched their first win Saturday night. Mathieu Perreault scored a hat trick and the reigning Stanley Cup finalists earned a 6-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
It was a night of firsts at the Bell Centre. Perreault, Christian Dvorak and Mike Hoffman all scored their first goals in Canadiens uniforms. Defenceman Sami Niku also earned his first points in his first start, finishing the night with two assists.
Detroit netminder Thomas Greiss got pulled in the second period after conceding five goals from 17 shots. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all six shots in relief.
Montreal’s Jake Allen turned away 26 of the 27 shots sent his way.
Montreal gave up a power play early in the first period and the Red Wings took no time to find the opening goal. Dylan Larkin beat Allen with a laser into the upper right-hand corner of the net.
Ben Chiarot responded for the Habs with 5:50 to go in the first period. The defenceman took a cross-ice pass from Jonathan Drouin and levelled the score at one.
The Canadiens scored two goals in a game for the first time this season when Hoffman opened his Montreal account. On the power play, Hoffman’s low shot from the top of the right face-off circle proved too much for Greiss.
Montreal notched a third unanswered goal in the second period. Detroit’s Marc Staal redirected a nifty Habs passing sequence into his own net. Dvorak was credited with the goal, his first in a Canadiens uniform.
Perreault added his two first goals in a Canadiens uniform in just over two minutes. The Drummondville, Que., native took advantage of a turnover to drive the puck to the net and beat Greiss a fourth time at 7:45 of the second.
Perreault notched a second goal at 9:59, putting the Habs up 5-1 and forcing Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill to pull Griess in favour of Nedeljkovic.
Perreault ended his dream night with a goal at 13:16 of the third for his third career hat trick.