The memory of their own lopsided loss was too fresh in the Canadiens’ minds for them to get too excited about laying a one-sided beating on the Colorado Avalanche.
Max Pacioretty had four goals, Brian Flynn scored twice during a six-goal first period and Montreal routed the Avalanche 10-1 on Saturday night in their biggest offensive output at home since moving to the Bell Centre in 1996.
That was weighed against a 10-0 beating they took Nov. 4 in Columbus.
“We went through the same thing earlier this year and we know that one game doesn’t make our club,” Pacioretty said. “They obviously didn’t show their best, just like we didn’t in our game in Columbus.
“It seemed like everything went against us in that game and tonight everything went against them. We have a lot of respect for that club, but we liked the way we played.”
Flynn, Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen each scored against Calvin Pickard in the opening 7:12, and then Pacioretty, Paul Byron and Flynn each had a goal among the first four shots on Semyon Varlamov.
Pacioretty completed his hat trick in the second period and added another in the third to give the captain seven goals in his last four games.
Alexander Radulov and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal, which has shown no drop-off without injured scoring leader and first-line center Alex Galchenyuk. Montreal outshot the Avs 36-16.
“We have guys that have stepped up,” Petry said. “That’s what good teams have when injuries come along. … It’s not just one guy. It has to be everybody.”
Montreal’s six-goal first period was its first since Dec. 17, 1992 against the Quebec Nordiques in an 8-3 win.
Blake Comeau got one late in the first period for Colorado, which was coming off a win Thursday night in Boston that ended a six-game skid. The Avs end a four-game trip Sunday night in Toronto.
Avalanche wing Jarome Iginla played his 1,500th NHL game. While the 39-year-old didn’t figure into the scoring, he took two minor penalties for throwing punches at Alexei Emelin after the Canadiens defenseman clipped Joe Colborne with a low check with less than four minutes to play.
“I’ve seen him throw hits like that before,” said Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog, who returned after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. “I just don’t like how he doesn’t answer to it after when Iggy comes over.
“Everybody in this room is embarrassed enough. Before the game you want to win the game for Iggy and you want to play for each other and win for each other. So hands down, that was tough to see Iggy have to suffer through that game in such a milestone for him.”
Flynn began the barrage by scoring on Daniel Carr’s rebound at 2:56, and Pacioretty fired a wrist shot past Pickard at 5:13. Lehkonen roofed a backhand from the edge of the crease at 7:12.
Varlamov, who allowed six goals on 16 shots, was greeted by Pacioretty’s second of the night on a deflection of Andrei Markov’s point shot at 8:13. Just 28 seconds later, Byron scored on a breakaway, and Flynn’s pass intended for Carr went in off Colborne’s stick at 13:37.
Comeau got one by Carey Price when he deflected Nikita Zadorov’s shot in with 17 seconds left in the first period.
Radulov scored on a one-timer 11:35 into the second period and Pacioretty put one in from the left circle at 18:33. Montreal was on a power play when Petry’s weak shot from the point eluded Varlamov’s glove with 0.10 seconds left in the period.
Pickard was back in goal to start the third and was beaten at 7:28 when Pacioretty jammed in Torrey Mitchell’s rebound.