Habs steamroll Penguins for 1st win of season

Paul Byron scored two goals and added an assist, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Byron had his first multi-goal game since scoring a hat trick last December against Detroit.

Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia and Charles Hudon also scored for the Canadiens, who snapped a five-game losing streak against Pittsburgh. It was Montreal’s first win against Pittsburgh since Al Montoya’s 36-save shutout Oct. 18, 2016.

Carey Price made 21 saves on Saturday for his first win against Pittsburgh since Oct. 13, 2015.

Riley Sheahan scored for Pittsburgh, which lamented its puck management during a wild season-opening 7-6 overtime win against Washington on Thursday.

Kris Letang, a Montreal native, had an assist and passed Hall of Famer Paul Coffey for most points in team history by a defenceman with 441. Matt Murray, who has allowed 11 goals in two games, made 24 saves in the loss.

Last season, Pittsburgh scored five goals in each of its three games against Montreal. The Canadiens returned the favour with a five-goal outburst Saturday. The teams will meet again next Saturday in Montreal.

Gallagher scored the game’s first goal midway through the opening period. Tomas Tatar’s initial shot off the rush hit Penguins’ defenceman Olli Maatta and bounced to Gallagher, who converted the 2-on-1.

Byron’s breakaway goal gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead later in the period. He beat Maatta at the blueline and tucked a backhand-forehand deke between Murray’s outstretched pad and the post.

Byron scored his second goal just 3:43 into the second period. Max Domi chipped the puck from behind the goal to Byron, who flipped a shot past Murray.

Byron had the primary assist on a short-handed goal later in the period to make it a 4-0 game. Armia finished the 2-on-1 pass from Byron with a backhand chip behind Murray.