Canadiens cruise past Canucks 5-2 and pull into first place in Canadian Division

The win gave Montreal a 2-0-1 record against Vancouver and they finished their season-opening road trip with a 4-0-2 record.

Jan 23, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) makes a save behind defenseman Ben Chiarot (8) and Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser (6) in the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

A third-period goal by Brendan Gallagher survived a coach’s challenge to snap a 2-2  tie and the Canadiens went on to a 5-2 win in the finale of their three-game series against the Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Canucks coach Travis Green thought the Canadiens were offside as Tomas Tatar chased the puck into the Vancouver zone, but the replay proved otherwise and Tatar set up Gallagher for his second goal of the season.

Jonathan Drouin made a it 4-2 with his first goal of the season and Joel Edmundson scored into an empty net after Green pulled Braden Holtby with more than four minutes remaining.

The Canucks staged a rally earlier in the third period as Elias Pettersson deflected a high shot past Carey Price for his first goal of the season and Nils Hoglander tied the game. Price made 22 saves for his 350th career victory.

The win gave the Canadiens a 2-0-1 record against the Canucks and they finished their season-opening road trip with a 4-0-2 record, which is good for first place in the Canadian Division.

The Canadiens’ depth continues to be factor as veteran Corey Perry came off the taxi squad and scored in his first game as a Canadien to give Montreal a 2-0 lead in the second period.

Montreal caught a break when Canucks defenceman Olli Juolevi hit a post and Jesperi Kotkaniemi blocked a shot by Hoglander to start a 3-on-1, which ended wth Perry’s goal.

Tyler Toffoli, who fired wide on an open net on a feed from Perry earlier in the period, picked up an assist on the Perry goal. That gave him five goals and three assists in the Vancouver series.

Nick Suzuki, who was the player the Columbus Blue Jackets coveted when the Canadiens expressed an interest in acquiring Pierre-Luc Dubois, showed why Marc Bergevin was reluctant to make the trade. Suzuki opened the scoring with a quick shot on a pass from Brett Kulak, who picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and led the rush. It was Suzuki’s second goal of the season and he has a point in each of the Canadiens’ six games.

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