Byron hat trick fuels Canadiens over Red Wings 10-1
MONTREAL (AP) — It was only two weeks ago the Montreal Canadiens looked to be in a downward spiral.
They had gone five games without a win and only scored seven goals in that stretch.
All that changed when star goalie Carey Price returned.
Paul Byron got his first career hat trick, Alex Galchenyuk had a career-best four assists and the Canadiens beat the slumping Detroit Red Wings 10-1 Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
Nicolas Deslauriers, Jacob de la Rose and Daniel Carr each scored for the first time this season, and Charles Hudon, Brendan Gallagher, Jordie Benn and Andrew Shaw also scored. Montreal was coming off a 6-3 win against Detroit on Thursday night.
“I don’t think anyone was ever too worried,” Byron said. “This group works way too hard not to be rewarded.
“You’re not going to score 10 every night,” he added, “but if we focus on not giving up goals, with Carey in net, I think we have a chance to win every time we play.”
Price made 22 saves and is 5-0 since returning from a 10-game absence for a lower-body injury.
Luke Glendening scored for the Red Wings, who have lost seven straight, their longest skid since November of 2013.
“Today was just embarrassing,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “I don’t know another word to describe it.”
Byron and Deslauriers each scored within a 32-second span in the first period. Byron took a pass from Galchenyuk at his own blue line and raced in alone to beat Petr Mrazek to the top corner at 5:22. Then Deslauriers was left open in front to fire in Byron Froese’s feed from behind the net at 5:54. It was Deslauriers’ first goal for Montreal.
Byron went alone again to score 1:51 into the second frame.
De la Rose scored short-handed to complete a 2-on-1 with Deslauriers at 4:58. It was his first goal in 50 games since April 11, 2015.
“I don’t try to think too much about that but obviously it was relief,” the 22-year-old said. “You want to score goals, so it’s a good feeling.”
Hudon picked the top corner from close range on a power play at 13:43. That chased Mrazek, who allowed five goals on 25 shots, and Jimmy Howard entered.
Byron got his third of the game with a low shot from the slot at 15:38.
Gallagher went in alone to score his 13th of the season and 100th career 1:01 into the third. Tomas Plekanec’s assist moved him into a tie with Dickie Moore for 13th on the Canadiens’ career scoring list with 593.
Benn scored on a blast from the left circle at 6:15.
Glendening scored midway through the third period, but Shaw and Carr piled on after that.
NOTES: Canadiens D Shea Weber returned after missing six games with a lower-body injury, bumping Jakub Jerebek from the lineup. ... Montreal F Jonathan Drouin missed a second game with a lower-body ailment. ... Detroit had Martin Frk back after missing eight games with a groin injury.
Red Wings: Host Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
Canadiens: Host St. Louis on Tuesday night.
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