Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Carey Price needed to make just 18 stops to help the Montreal Canadiens take a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
Max Pacioretty scored twice while Jeff Halpern and Andrei Markov each scored for the Canadiens, who have won three straight and hold a three-point lead over Boston for first place in the Northeast Division.
Jordan Staal had the lone goal of the game for the Hurricanes, who have dropped eight of their last nine games and remain four points behind Winnipeg for first place in the Southeast Division. Justin Peters was charged with three goals on 28 shots in the loss.
Carolina got the first goal of the game and it came at the 3:38 mark as Patrick Dwyer split the defense and had his shot stopped, but passed the rebound back to Staal, who snapped it home for his ninth of the year.
Montreal tied the game on the power play with 4:57 to play in the first as Markov blasted a shot from the right point that sailed into the net for his seventh of the season.
The Habs took a 2-1 lead just 1:46 into the second period when Halpern buried the loose puck from the slot for his first of the season.
Montreal gave itself some room with 9:02 to play as Pacioretty skated down the right side and pulled up before charging to the net and jamming it in.
Pacioretty scored his second of the game with the net empty in the final minute to seal the outcome.
Montreal plays in Philadelphia on Wednesday ... Carolina hosts Washington on Tuesday ... Montreal won all three games against Carolina this season ... The Hurricanes activated goaltender Dan Ellis off injured reserve on Monday. He had been out since March 21 with a lower body injury.
04/01 22:34:53 ET