Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens' Top Line Clicking as Pre-Season Ends with 9-2 Rout of Senators

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens' Top Line Clicking as Pre-Season Ends with 9-2 Rout of Senators

Article excerpt

Habs' top line clicking as pre-season ends


MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens' first line is clicking at just the right time.

Centre Jonathan Drouin and wingers Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty combined for three goals and nine points as the Canadiens emphatically beat the Ottawa Senators 9-2 on Saturday in the last pre-season game for both teams.

"There are 82 games and hopefully we can stay together and be productive the whole way," said Gallagher, who led with two goals an assist. "If we all do our jobs, we're capable of being effective in this league."

Gallagher, who's looking for a bounce-back year after a career low 10 goals last season, got the ball rolling for Montreal.

After Kyle Turris scored the opener 22 seconds into the game on the power play for the Senators, Gallagher put away the equalizer at 11:04 by poking a loose puck from his knees between Craig Anderson's pads.

With Montreal already leading 4-1, Gallagher got his second of the game at 2:11 of the third period when he tipped Drouin's shot past Anderson. Pacioretty added another for the home side 18 seconds later with an easy redirection in front of goal.

The Canadiens captain finished with one goal and two assists. Drouin had three assists.

All three players were dangerous nearly every shift, especially on the power play.

"Pacioretty draws so much attention with his speed," said Gallagher. "He's driving at defencemen and putting them on their heels. And the way Drouin comes into the neutral zone with the puck. We didn't dump the puck in too much, we were able to carry it in with control.

"For me it's easy to do my job when you're playing with those two guys. Just get to the net and try to whack a couple in."

The Canadiens (2-6-0) ended their pre-season on a high note after dropping their first six games, where they scored a combined nine goals.

Montreal's offence erupted for another nine goals on Saturday as the Canadiens outshot Ottawa 40-17. …

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