MONTREAL -- Left winger Max Pacioretty recorded his second hat trick of the season, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at the Bell Centre.
Centers Ryan White and Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal, which won for the fourth time in six games after a four-game slide that saw them give up 19 goals.
Left winger Chris Higgins and defenseman Alexander Edler scored for the Canucks (27-23-9). Vancouver's losing streak reached six games.
Goaltender Carey Price made 42 saves for Montreal (31-21-6), while fellow Team Canada Olympian Roberto Luongo stopped 24 shots for Vancouver.
Pacioretty got the scoring started when he deflected a power-play shot by defenseman P.K. Subban from the point past Luongo at 14:59 of the first period. Subban's shot was his second attempt to get the puck through, after his initial point shot was blocked by defenseman Jason Garrison and bounced back to him.
White doubled the Canadiens' lead 63 seconds later. Left winger Michael Bournival attracted both Canucks defenseman as he drove to the net, with the blue-liners pushing the rookie nearly onto Luongo. White, alone to the left of the net, made no mistake in lifting his first of the season over the Vancouver netminder.
Higgins got the visitors on the board at 2:31 of the second when Garrison's shot from the circle went off his leg and into the net. The goal came just after a big save by Luongo on Canadiens left winger Brandon Prust, off a two-on-one with Plekanec.
Price made some key saves after the Canucks' goal, including a stop on left winger David Booth to preserve his team's lead.
The Canadiens had two prime opportunities to pad their advantage midway through the second period when Pacioretty was awarded a pair of penalty shots nearly two minutes apart. He shot wide on the first attempt and was stopped by Luongo as he tried to slow down and deke on the second.
It marked the first time in Canadiens history that the team was awarded two penalty shots in one game.
Center David Desharnais' perfect behind-the-back backhand pass set up Pacioretty's second of the night at 4:45 of the third period.
Plekanec added to his team's lead when his attempted pass to Desharnais on a two-on-one was cut off by Edler, who kicked it into his own net. Edler picked up Vancouver's second goal at 12:21 of the third on the power play.
Pacioretty completed the hat trick with an empty-net tally at 18:52 of the third.
NOTES: The Canadiens honored both teams' Olympians -- a total of 12 players -- with a brief pregame presentation. ... The game was the first for Canucks D Raphael Diaz and Montreal RW Dale Weise against their former teams after being traded for one another on Monday. ... Canadiens D P.K. Subban played in his 100th consecutive game, a stretch that began last season when he returned six games into the campaign following a contract impasse. ... The Canucks scratched C Henrik Sedin (rib), LW Kellan Lain and D Dan Hamhuis (leg). Sedin confirmed that he would not play for Sweden in the Olympics due to his injury. ... Montreal scratched RW George Parros and D Francis Bouillon, while LW Travis Moen missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.