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Winnipeg at Montreal

Eller scores four times for Canadiens

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MONTREAL -- Lars Eller wanted to cherish this offensive outburst for as long as possible.

Eller entered this season with only nine goals in 84 career NHL games, so netting four and adding an assist in the Montreal Canadiens' 7-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night was something to be savored.

"You never know when you're going to go out there again, so you better make it last," Eller said.

Eller's outburst helped the Canadiens shake off the effects of a poor road trip. He scored his fourth goal of the game on a penalty shot 11 minutes into the third, spinning around to beat Chris Mason for his third tally of the period.

He did a backward somersault over the Winnipeg backup goalie to the delight of the sold-out crowd of 21,273.

"I kind of decided before I went down that I wanted to do that spin move," Eller said. "I knew the goalie was cold so it's a good one, you're always sure to get your shot off."

Travis Moen had three assists, and Andrei Kostitsyn had two as Eller's line combined for 10 points.

"It might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, four goals," Eller said. "It's just incredible, and I just want to thank my teammates for helping me. If you look at the goals, a lot of the goals are Travis and Andrei doing a pretty amazing job. I'm just in the right place at the right time."

Montreal, which went 1-5 on its recent trip, won for the second time in nine games -- the last eight since interim coach Randy Cunneyworth took over for the fired Jacques Martin on Dec. 17.

Josh Gorges, Tomas Kaberle and Michael Cammalleri also scored for the Canadiens, who improved to 6-7-6 at home. Carey Price made 24 saves. Erik Cole had two assists.

"It was an extremely exciting night for Lars," said Cammalleri, who scored between Eller's second and third goals as Montreal tallied three goals in 50 seconds early in the third to go up 6-2. "We're very happy for him. This will be one he'll remember forever, probably one of the highlights of his lifetime.

"It would be for any of us, so it was pretty, pretty cool."

Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist, including a power-play tally 17:51 into the second to draw Winnipeg within 3-2. Tim Stapleton's sixth goal gave the Jets a 1-0 lead 3:41 in. Andrew Ladd scored the Jets' final goal with 6:57 left.

Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves before he was replaced by Mason 6:49 into the third. Mason stopped six shots for Winnipeg, which had a three-game winning streak broken.

"The biggest thing is that we weren't prepared to do the things that we've been doing for the past month, and it showed," Jets coach Claude Noel said.

Gorges and Eller scored 43 seconds apart in the first as Montreal bounced back from Stapleton's early goal.

Gorges, who signed a six-year, $23.4 million contract extension on Monday, got Montreal even 13:24 in. The 27-year-old defenseman beat Pavelec with a shot from the point through traffic for his second goal of the season.

Eller made it 2-1 with his fifth goal at 14:07.

Kaberle made it a 3-1 lead 5:32 into the second with a slap shot past Pavelec for his first goal in 49 games, dating to last season.

Eller scored his second of the game 2:41 into the third, and Cammalleri made it 5-2 with his ninth at 3:03.

The Canadiens got their third goal in 50 seconds when Eller completed his first NHL hat trick at 3:31, beating Pavelec with a shot from the right edge of the crease that put Montreal up 6-2.

"They were ready to play," said Pavelec, who was replaced by Mason during a timeout three minutes later. "We started to turn the puck over and that was the key. You can't play that way, especially in the third. We made the mistakes and they scored the goals.

Referee Marcus Vinnerborg awarded Eller a penalty shot after the 22-year-old Danish center was tied up by former Montreal defenseman Ron Hainsey on a breakaway.

Eller went wide to the right as he came in on Mason before spinning around in the crease and scoring his eighth goal of the season. He become the first Canadiens player to score four times in a game since Jan Bulis did it at Philadelphia on Jan. 25, 2006.

Notes

  • Wheeler has three goals and two assists in three games against Montreal this season.
  • Kaberle, who began the season with Carolina, hadn't scored since March 24 for Boston in a 7-0 win over the Canadiens.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Not knowing what's coming, Lars Eller (right) is congratulated after the first of his four goals by Travis Moen. (AP)
Not knowing what's coming, Lars Eller (right) is congratulated after the first of his four goals by Travis Moen. (AP)

Scoreboard
Winnipeg (19-15-5)1113
Montreal  (15-18-7) «2147
Three Stars
L. Eller
MON


Goals: 4
Assist(s): 1
A. Kostitsyn
MON


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
E. Cole
MON


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:41 - Tim Stapleton (6), Tip-In. Assist: Kane, Wheeler
13:24 - Josh Gorges (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Desharnais, Cole
14:07 - Lars Eller (5), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
05:32 - Tomas Kaberle (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Moen, Eller
17:51Power Play - Blake Wheeler (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Bogosian, Enstrom
3RD PERIOD
02:41 - Lars Eller (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Moen, Kostitsyn
03:03 - Mike Cammalleri (9), Backhand Shot. Assist: Cole, Plekanec
03:31 - Lars Eller (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kostitsyn, Moen
11:00 - Lars Eller (8), Penalty Shot, Unassisted.
13:03 - Andrew Ladd (13), Tip-In. Assist: Hainsey, Antropov
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
17:56Ladd, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
13:28Slater, 2 min, Slashing
16:34Gorges, 2 min, Holding
19:05Diaz, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
17:21Gill, 5 min, Fighting
17:21Thorburn, 5 min, Fighting
18:39Stuart, 2 min, Roughing
18:39Stuart, 2 min, High-Sticking
18:39Darche, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
 123T
WPG791127
MON1251431
 
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Bos 6 Final
NJ 1
Min 0 Final
Van 3
SJ 3 Final
Ana 1