Canadiens 6, Nordiques 4
MONTREAL (AP) _ Brian Skrudland highlighted a three-goal spurt in 46 seconds by scoring twice in nine seconds Wednesday night as the Montreal Canadiens beat Quebec 6-4, spoiling Jean Perron’s homecoming as Nordiques coach.
Perron, who was fired as coach of the Canadiens last spring, returned behind the bench of the Nordiques, who appointed him last week as the replacement for the ailing Ron Lapointe. Perron led Montreal to the 1985-86 Stanley Cup but was fired after last season.
Perron was received warmly by the fans as he crossed the ice to get to the Nordiques’ bench prior to the game. He waved to acknowledge the cheers, which drowned out the boos.
Chris Chelios, who had a hand in both of Skrudland’s goals, drew four assists as Montreal stretched its unbeaten string at the Forum to 14 games, including 12 victories. The Canadiens, who have only one loss in their last 13 games - also to Quebec - finally solved the Nordiques, winners of the three previous meetings this season.
Montreal is 13-2-3 in their last 18, with both losses at Quebec City.
Mats Naslund ignited the Canadiens’ rapid-fire offense, preceding Skrudland’s pair with his 15th goal at 1:47 of the middle period. That snapped a 2-2 tie.
The go-ahead goal by Naslund came after he stripped the puck from Anton Stastny and boomed a slap shot from high in the slot.
Skrudland, with only three goals in 34 games, almost matched the total on one shift in the middle period. He pounced on a rebound and backhanded the puck between the legs of Bob Mason for a 4-2 lead. Then, stationed in the slot, he got his stick on a slap shot by Chelios for a goal that prompted Perron to lift Mason for Mario Gosselin.
Rookie Joe Sakic, returning after a 10-game absence because of a sprained ankle, revived Quebec’s hopes by scoring less than two minutes after Skrudland’s second goal. But 21 seconds into a Quebec penalty, Claude Lemieux tipped in Chelios’ point shot, making it 6-3.
Montreal goalie Brian Hayward boosted his career record to 14-5 against Quebec, and was especially sharp early in the third period, when the Canadiens had a two-man disadvantage. Poddubny’s second goal, with 6:28 to play, was the only one of 13 third-period shots to beat Hayward.
In the opening period, goals were scored by Montreal’s Russ Courtnall and Mike McPhee and the Nordiques’ Walt Poddubny and Michel Goulet.