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Sean Farrell / The Sports Xchange, Published November 19 2013

Pacioretty's natural hat trick vaults Canadiens to win over Wild

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty and center David Desharnais both needed to start producing offensively, and coach Michel Therrien’s decision to line them up with right winger Brendan Gallagher proved to be just the ticket.

Pacioretty scored three straight goals in the second period and Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 25 saves in a 6-2 win Tuesday night that ended the Minnesota Wild’s four-game winning streak.

Pacioretty, who entered with two goals in 12 games, opened the scoring 2 minutes, 57 seconds into the second period with his first tally since Oct. 12. Desharnais, who had no goals and one assist in his first 19 games of the season, picked up his second straight assist on Pacioretty’s second goal at 10:06.

“Davy and I had a lot to prove, and Gally makes every line go, so they put him on our line to get us going and it worked,” said Pacioretty, who turns 25 on Wednesday.

Gallagher also assisted on Pacioretty’s second of the game, though he denied he produced the spark that broke his linemates out of their respective scoring slumps.

“Don’t be giving me credit for that, those two guys played awesome,” Gallagher said. “You see the plays Davy makes, and Patch, when he gets the puck on his stick he’s going to score so hopefully this is a step in the right direction.”

Defenseman P.K. Subban got his second assist at 13:36 when Pacioretty completed his natural hat trick and made it 3-0 with a power-play goal that chased Minnesota goalie Josh Harding from the net.

Left winger Michael Bournival scored Montreal’s fourth goal of the period at 16:16 on the first and only shot Wild backup goalie Darcy Kuemper faced in the second.

Center Daniel Briere made it 5-0 with his third goal on the Canadiens’ next shot on Kuemper 4:42 into the third.

Minnesota right winger Nino Niederreiter spoiled Price’s shutout bid with his fourth goal at 5:30, but Canadiens left winger Alex Galchenyuk restored Montreal’s five-goal lead with the Canadiens’ second power-play goal at 7:59.

Wild left winger Dany Heatley scored a power-play goal at 19:58 of the third to close out the scoring.

Minnesota began a four-game road trip that continues today in Ottawa.

“The only good thing is that we have a game (today) and we have a chance to come back and play better,” said center Mikko Koivu, who is Minnesota’s captain.