Date: March 18, 2014
Montreal made a big splash at the trade deadline in acquiring Thomas Vanek, one of the top names available. Naturally, he was expected to make an instant impact.
Things didn't really turn out that way, however, as Vanek struggled to the tune of one assist in his first five games with the Canadiens. Not exactly a dream start, but he made up for in a big way.
With the hockey world's attention centered around Patrick Roy's return to Montreal, it was Vanek who stole the show.
His first was a classic slump buster, as all Vanek had to do was slide the puck into an empty net after David Desharnais had drawn goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere out of position as he went to the net.
Then, with the game tied 3-3 in the third period, Vanek would take over and pot two more.
The first came at 14:45 on a play that saw Desharnais slide the puck to Max Pacioretty at the side of the net, who then made a one-touch pass to Vanek in the slot. His quick release beat Giguere and found the back of the net.
Less than three minutes later, Vanek would put the game out of reach by deflecting an Alexei Emelin point shot past Giguere.
Vanek's hat trick earned him the first star of the game and helped the Canadiens get two important points late in the season.