MONTREAL (AP) — Brendan Gallagher and Jordie Benn helped Charlie Lindgren stay perfect in the NHL.
Gallagher and Benn scored in the first period, Lindgren improved to 5-0 in five career starts and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.
Max Pacioretty also scored for Montreal, which has gone 5-1-0 since starting the season 2-7-1. Lindgren, called up from AHL Laval last week when Carey Price went out with a lower body injury, won his second game in a row and has yet to lose a start over three seasons.
“It’s been a heck of a start — it’s been fun,” said Lindgren, who played his first game at the Bell Centre. “It was unreal.”
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Erik Haula scored for Vegas, which ended a six-game trip 1-4-1. The Knights were coming off a shootout loss in Toronto on Monday night and were playing their sixth game in nine days.
“They keep working hard and that’s what you have to do,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said.
The Canadiens outshot the Knights 13-2 in the opening period, but Vegas battled back and had a 31-28 edge for the game.
“It was wild,” Lindgren said. “We knew coming in that Vegas doesn’t give up. They’re such a hard-working team. They threw everything at the net at the end. My defensemen really helped me out.”
Tomas Plekanec won a race to a dump-in and fed Gallagher alone at the side of the net for his seventh goal at 8:24. Benn got his first on a point shot through heavy traffic at 10:55.
Vegas got one back when Bellemare deked past Jeff Petry and beat Lindgren from close range at 17:41.
Pacioretty was at the doorstep to redirect Petry’s shot past Maxime Legace 3:31 into the second frame.
The Knights had Legace pulled for an extra attacker when Jonathan Marchessault fed a cross-ice pass that Haula one-timed into an open side with 1:17 left to play.
Lindgren won wearing the mask he had last season when Montreal’s farm team was in St. John’s. It has the team name IceCaps written on the front.
“My (new) mask is coming,” he said. “It’s been in the works for a long time.
“Unfortunately it got sent to the wrong location. But it’ll be coming no doubt. I’m not the superstitious type. Once I get it, I’ll throw it on.”
NOTES: Montreal center Jonathan Drouin did not play in the third period due to an upper body injury. … After the game, Michael McCarron was assigned to Laval and new Rocket captain Byron Froese was called up.
Golden Knights: Host Winnipeg on Friday night.
Canadiens: Host Minnesota on Thursday night.