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Galchenyuk's hat trick lifts Canadiens past Hurricanes

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk had his first NHL hat trick, and Carey Price made 25 saves to lead Montreal to a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Galchenyuk, playing his natural position for a third straight game on a line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the second period.

He made it 3-1 with his second of the game at 16:41 of the third period for his first multigoal game in 145 NHL games, and completed the hat trick with his ninth goal at 17:50 to put Montreal ahead 4-1.

"All my family was here," said Galchenyuk, who has played the majority of his games at left wing. "My father, my mom, my sister; I guess it was for them."

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien intends to continue being patient with the 20-year-old's development.

"I think maturity will help him to be more consistent," Therrien said. "He had a great game tonight, but the challenge is, we want him to have another good game next game, and that's the challenge for a young kid. And he's not different from the rest of our young kids. They need to perform game after game."

Pacioretty had the primary assist on each of Galchenyuk's goals.

"I think he owes me dinner," said Pacioretty, who leads Montreal with 13 goals and 25 points.

Forward Brandon Prust scored in the first period for the Canadiens (20-10-2), who are 3-0-0 on their five-game homestand.

Price lost his shutout at 6:47 of the third when forward Jeff Skinner drew Carolina within 2-1.

After Price nudged the puck across the goal line with his glove, he made a sprawling save on Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey's shot from the slot at 14:56.

"It's 2-1 with five minutes to go and I think we're coming a little bit," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "That was a key moment in the game, and then from there it gets extended and it looks like a one-sided game."

Goalie Cam Ward made 25 saves for Carolina (8-19-3), which has scored 10 goals in its past eight games, including one in each of its six straight losses.

"It's a tough League to win in when you score one goal a game," Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner said. "It's disappointing, especially the way [Ward] and [backup goalie Anton Khudobin] have been playing. I think they've been giving us chances to win, but we haven't been executing in the offensive end to earn a win."

Ward was out of position when Prust scored to make it 1-0 at 9:15 of the first period. Right wing PA Parenteau's cross-ice pass to center David Desharnais set up the goal.

Desharnais, who was replaced by Galchenyuk on Montreal's top line, skated around the left side of the net when Ward challenged him and passed to Prust, who shot past Hainsey for the goal.

"I've watched Davy for a few years now so I know he's got that in him, he's got that patience," Prust said. "As soon as that opened up, I knew that he saw me. I saw him look at me, so I knew it was coming."

Galchenyuk made it a two-goal lead at 8:33 of the second when he finished off a play that Gallagher started with a breakout pass to Andrei Markov.

Pacioretty took a pass from Markov and passed back to Galchenyuk, who trailed Markov into the zone for a shot into a wide-open net.

Galchenyuk scored his second goal of the game after he was sent in on a breakaway by Pacioretty, who also set up his linemate's third goal 1:09 later for his third assist.

"Honestly, Galchenyuk, I'm really happy for him that he scored three goals, he has such quick hands, but he had a guy to his left in Pacioretty who worked extremely hard and had good offensive vision to get him the puck," Therrien said. "I really liked Pacioretty's work ethic and leadership on that line, and Galchenyuk took full advantage of it."

Price initially stopped Skinner's shot from the right side but the puck dropped to his left pad and crossed the goal line.

"It was a big goal at the time," Skinner said. "Unfortunately we couldn't get that next one."

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