MONTREAL (AP) — Cole Caufield had his first NHL hat trick and the Montreal Canadiens routed the Presidents’ Trophy champion Florida Panthers 10-2 on Friday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.
As Tyler Pitlick netted Montreal’s 10th goal, “Guy! Guy! Guy!” chants rained from the Bell Centre rafters honoring late Habs great Guy Lafleur — who wore No. 10.
“I think it’s crazy that we scored 10 goals tonight,” Caufield said “You can’t make this stuff up, everything happens for a reason.”
The meaning echoed on the other side of the ice, too.
“That was my dad’s favorite player and for a lot of people in that generation it was all about Guy,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. “Too bad we lost him so early but what a hockey player he was. You don’t find too many Guys, but I wish we didn’t give up 10.”
Carey Price made 37 saves in his 700th career start for his first victory of the season.
“It means everything to us,” Caufield said about Price’s victory. “He’s the backbone of our team, he’s the guy you want to play for. To have him in the room every day, it was just something special and you just feel the energy he brings no matter if he’s excited or not.”
Florida’s Jonas Johansson allowed 10 goals on 37 shots.
The Canadiens (22-49-11) scored on their first three shots. Jordan Harris had his first career goal to open the spree, Mike Hoffman tapped in a loose puck in the crease and Caufield scored on a wrist shot.
Brendan Gallagher, Mathieu Perreault, Jake Evans and Christian Dvorak also scored for Montreal.
Ben Chiarot and Noel Acciari scored for Florida (58-18-6).