Flyers 7, Canadiens 0
MONTREAL (AP) _ John LeClair, returning to Montreal for the first time since he was traded to Philadelphia two weeks earlier, had the first three-goal game of his career to spark the Flyers to a 7-0 triumph over the Canadiens on Saturday night.
Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall shared some of the spotlight with LeClair, making 18 saves for his first shutout of the season and 10th of his career.
Defenseman Eric Desjardins, who was part of the Feb. 10 trade, also scored the Flyers’ sixth goal.
But the night belonged to LeClair, who almost singlehandedly snapped Montreal’s three-game winning streak.
LeClair, along with Desjardins and forward Gilbert Dionne, was sent to the Flyers for right wing Mark Recchi, as Montreal sought to bolster its offense.
LeClair has eight goals in seven games since joining the Flyers.
He gave Philadelphia a 2-0 first-period lead, notching his first goal at 8:48, finishing off a two-man break by one-timing a pass by Mikael Renberg just in front of Montreal goaltender Patrick Roy’s crease.
Just under five minutes later, LeClair was again in front of the crease to sweep in the rebound of Renberg’s slap shot from the top of the left circle.
After Shjon Podein made it 3-0 only 25 seconds into the third period, LeClair completed his hat trick 48 seconds later.
Again, he was in the right spot, to the left of Roy, to slide in a loose puck.
The goal prompted the announced crowd of 17,800 to shower LeClair with cheers and litter the ice with several caps, a rare acknowledgement of a hat- trick by a visiting player.
Kevin Dineen, with his first goal of the season, added to the Flyers’ lead at 5:25.
After Patrik Juhlin scored the Flyers’ seventh goal at 10:58, Roy was lifted for Ron Tugnutt.