MONTREAL - The Canadiens rebounded from their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday with a decisive 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.
The first period was largely uneventful until the 14:37 mark, when Victor Mete broke the ice in a big way. The third-year defenseman pinched from the point to accept a pass from Nick Cousins, which he wired from the slot and beat Minnesota starter Alex Stalock for his first career NHL goal in his 127th game.
Video: MIN@MTL: Mete buries one-timer for first career goal
Later, the Canadiens made the Wild pay on a 5-on-3 power play when Jonathan Drouin fed Joel Armia with a perfect cross-ice pass, which the Finnish winger wristed past Stalock to make it 2-0.
Video: MIN@MTL: Drouin sets up Armia for power-play goal
Not to be outdone by Mete, rookie Nick Suzuki took the opportunity to score his first career NHL goal - in his seventh game - when he recovered a rebound and shoveled it past Stalock on the backhand to increase the Habs' lead to 3-0 in the final minute of the period. The goal made Mete and Suzuki the first pair of Canadiens to score their first NHL goals in the same game since Chris Higgins and Alexander Perezhogin on October 6, 2005 at NYR, and the 12th set of Habs teammates to do so all-time.
Video: MIN@MTL: Suzuki nets backhand for first NHL goal
Neither team got on the board in the second. The Habs outshot the Wild 7-6 in the middle frame, giving them a 22-12 shot advantage after 40.
In the final frame, Brendan Gallagher capitalized on a turnover in the Wild zone and got it past Stalock from the same spot where both Suzuki and Armia lit the lamp for his third of the season to ring the score up to 4-0 with 7:20 left to play.
Video: MIN@MTL: Gallagher steals pass, roofs shot by Stalock
Carey Price made 17 saves on the night to record his first shutout of the season and the 45th of his career. He is now one shutout away from tying Ken Dryden for third all-time on the Canadiens.