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NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Carolina



(Wednesday, December 23rd)

Final Score: Montreal 5, Carolina 1

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Glen Metropolit had two of Montreal's three power-play scores, and Jaroslav Halak was strong in net again, as the Canadiens took a 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canadiens were 3-for-5 with the man advantage in taking their third consecutive victory following a five-game slide. Tomas Plekanec and Scott Gomez each had three assists for Montreal.

Halak had stopped 87-of-90 shots in his last two games, which includes a shutout of the Islanders on December 19. He faced a ton of shots again Wednesday, but turned aside 46-of-47 for the win.

"When you have a big lead like that, it's something that we need to address," Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin said of the number of shots on goal. "But at this point I was very happy how we played and how we executed in the first half of the hockey game, when the game was on the line, and the way our goaltending and the special teams were going; that was encouraging."

On the other hand, Carolina's goaltenders let in five goals on only 25 shots. Cam Ward got the start and let in three on just seven shots in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the game, while Manny Legace made 16 saves the rest of the way.

Brandon Sutter had the lone goal for the Hurricanes, who have dropped their last two and six of eight, overall.

Montreal went on the power play just 24 seconds into the game after a boarding call on Aaron Ward. The Habs took advantage, as Andrei Markov, from the left of the crease, one-timed in Plekanec's pass at 1:29. A little more than two minutes later, Andrei Kostitsyn tallied his 11th of the year for a 2-0 lead.

"We were just soft and they were real fast. When you play a team that can skate like that you're going to have to be as physical as you can be to slow them down," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said. "We had a hard time getting any checks and we needed a save or two early, but they had plenty of good chances in the first period."

The Hurricanes got one of the goals back at 7:21, when Sutter stuffed in a rebound from the right side while on the man advantage.

However, Sergei Kostitsyn recorded his first score of the season only two minutes and 11 seconds later, when his tip-in slipped through Cam Ward's pads. Ward was pulled at that point, though the Canadiens kept adding goals.

Metropolit had a power-play goal with 2:52 left in the first, then netted a backhander with 1:57 remaining in the second period for a 5-1 Montreal edge.

Game Notes

Montreal continues its season-long seven-game road trip Saturday in Toronto...Carolina hosts Philadelphia on Saturday...The Hurricanes' 47 shots on net were a season high...Carolina had gotten points in each of its last six contest vs. Montreal (4-0-2)...Hurricanes defenseman Andrew Alberts played in his 300th NHL game...Plekanec has 36 assists this season, four off equaling his career high (2007-08).

12/23 22:21:30 ET


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