NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Carolina
(Wednesday, March 30th)
Final Score: Carolina 6, Montreal 2
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Calder Trophy candidate Jeff Skinner registered two goals and one assist, as the Carolina Hurricanes kept pace in the race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot with a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at RBC Center.
Skinner, the youngest player in the NHL at 18 years and 10 months, leads all rookies in points with 58.
"He plays his best hockey in the big games," Carolina head coach Paul Maurice said of Skinner.
The Hurricanes, who have won five of their last six games, also got two tallies from Jamie McBain. Tuomo Ruutu collected two assists, while Cam Ward turned away 38 shots
Carolina remains three points behind the eighth-place New York Rangers with five games remaining.
Michael Cammalleri and P.K. Subban both scored power-play goals for sixth- place Montreal, which has dropped four of five.
Carey Price allowed four goals on 26 shots through two periods before he was replaced by Alex Auld, who made seven saves in relief.
Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind Skinner's 28th and 29th goals of the season.
A turnover by Montreal in its own zone wound up on stick of Skinner, who snapped the puck between Price's pads at 11:01. Taken seventh overall in the 2010 draft, Skinner struck again four minutes later, taking a pass from Ruutu and using a backhander to beat Price high on the glove side.
Cammalleri put Montreal on the board at the 5:23 mark of the second period. But McBain fired a slap shot that beat Price on the short side, restoring the Hurricanes' two-goal lead 47 seconds later.
Joni Pitkanen then jumped on a loose puck between the circles and hammered it behind a screened Price to make it 4-1 at 9:03 of the middle frame.
The Habs closed to within two on Subban's marker with nine minutes gone in the third period, but McBain pumped home his second of the night before Cory Stillman provided some insurance with a power-play goal.
Skinner has five multi-goal games...James Wisniewski and Tomas Plekanec both picked up two assists for Montreal, which was aiming to sweep the season series. The Canadiens outscored Carolina 14-7 in the first three meetings.
03/30 23:14:53 ET