MONTREAL (AP) — With Andrei Markov nursing an upper-body injury and Shea Weber in a scoring slump, the Montreal Canadiens needed a defenseman to step up.
It turned out to be Jeff Petry, who scored a goal and added two assists to keep his hot streak alive as the Canadiens downed the sluggish Anaheim Ducks 5-1 on Tuesday night.
That gave Petry a goal in three consecutive games for the first time in his career and seven points in his last five outings.
“I went through a bit of a down spell for a few games there and I had a session with (assistant coach) J.J. (Daignault) and he just said, ‘When you’re on top of your game, you’re skating and playing physical,’ so my focus was to get back to doing that and it’s been paying off,” said Petry, whose seventh goal matched his season high set in 2013-14 with Edmonton.
Paul Byron had a goal and a helper while Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and Chris Terry also scored for Montreal.
Ironman Andrew Cogliano scored for the Ducks, who looked sluggish coming off a 3-2 win Monday night in Toronto. Anaheim ends a six-game trip Thursday night in Ottawa.
Cogliano played his 738th consecutive game to pass Jay Bouwmeester for the fifth longest streak in NHL history. It’s the longest since Steve Larmer played his 884th in a row in 1993. Cogliano has the second-longest stretch from the start of a career behind Doug Jarvis’s 964 games.
“I’ve been very fortunate, obviously, but I take pride in how I approach the game in the offseason and surrounding myself with good people and that has helped,” Cogliano said.
Montreal outshot the Anaheim 34-13.
The Ducks struck first off a faceoff in the Montreal zone when Ryan Kesler kicked the puck to Cogliano for a quick shot that beat Carey Price high at 5:19. Cogliano’s ninth of the season tied his total over 82 games in 2015-16.
Montreal got it back at the 19:00 mark on a 2-on-1 as Byron put Petry’s rebound in to an open side. Byron equaled his career high of 11 goals set last season.
Artturi Lehkonen got through traffic and fed Byron for a cross-ice pass that Plekanec converted into an open side on a power play for only his third of the season.
Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier, now 1-9-3 in his career against Montreal, cleared the puck around the boards from behind his own net to Petry at the right point for a shot that went in off a post.
Montreal’s struggling power play got another at 10:04 when Petry sent Pacioretty in on the right side for a shot that beat Bernier inside the near post. It was only the third power-play goal in the Canadiens’ last 24 attempts. Terry got his first of the season with 47 seconds left in the third period.
“With a lot of our top guys injured and the power play struggling of late, to come out on top and have everyone pitch in, and get two power-play goals even if they weren’t perfect, will hopefully give everyone confidence,” Pacioretty said.
NOTES: Canadiens D Andrei Markov (upper body) sat out on his 38th birthday, ending a string of 116 games without missing one due to injury.
Ducks: Play at Ottawa on Thursday night.
Canadiens: Play Thursday night against Minnesota in their last game at the Bell Centre until Jan. 9. They play seven straight on the road starting Friday night in Columbus.
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