NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Carolina
(Thursday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Carolina 0
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Cristobal Huet made 31 saves for his 12th career shutout and Montreal scored three special teams goals, as the Canadiens blanked the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-0, at RBC Center.
Michael Komisarek and Tomas Plekanec both notched short-handed tallies while Saku Koivu scored on the power play for Montreal, which has earned at least one point in each of its last four games (3-0-1). Mike Johnson also scored in the victory. The Canadiens will now return home for a brief two-game homestand that begins Saturday against New Jersey.
"He was solid tonight," said Montreal head coach Guy Carbonneau of Huet. "Every game he is getting better and better."
Cam Ward allowed four goals on 27 shots for the Hurricanes, who saw their two- game winning streak halted.
Following a scoreless first period, the Canadiens opened the scoring midway through the second when Komisarek notched his first goal of the season while Montreal skated short-handed.
Before Mark Streit's interference penalty ended, Radek Bonk was called for hooking. However, the Hurricanes failed to mount significant pressure with a 5-on-3 advantage. Shortly after the conclusion of the first minor, the visitors broke through the neutral zone -- still short-handed -- and Steve Begin fed the puck to Komisarek along the right-wing side.
Komisarek avoided the slide of Carolina's Ray Whitney near the top of the circle and jumped over his skates along the right half-wall. From a sharp angle along the outer rim of the circle, Komisarek fired a wrist shot toward the net that took a strange bounce and beat Ward to the near side at 10:45.
Less than two minutes later, the Habs again scored on special teams, this time on the power play. Eric Belanger was whistled for hooking at 11:10 and Koivu's third goal of 2006-07 with 7:31 remaining in the stanza gave the visitors a two-goal lead.
Carolina did not produce many quality scoring chances throughout the remainder of the middle session, but early in the third Eric Staal nearly cut the deficit in half. He took a crisp pass from Whitney inside the right circle and fired a sharp wrist shot that hit the crossbar.
"We had opportunities that were either wide or high," said Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette.
Johnson's fourth goal at the 13:07 mark of the third made it 3-0. Bonk feathered a one-handed pass from along the upper right half-wall and the puck slid into the high slot, where Johnson scooped it up and, with Carolina's defensemen out of position, went in alone and beat Ward.
Janne Niinimaa went to the penalty box for hooking soon after and Carolina skated 5-on-4 with a chance to reach the scoreboard. However, Whitney held the puck beneath the left point and fell down before Plekanec gained control and used his blazing speed to create a clean, full-length breakaway. Plekanec made a nice deke move near the goal mouth and lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Ward with 5:04 remaining in regulation.
Carolina will visit Ottawa on Saturday...Montreal, which fell to Carolina in the 2006 postseason, lost all four games to the Canes in the 2005-06 regular season...Huet stopped 15 shots in the first period and eight in both the second and third frames...Carolina dominated the faceoffs, 35-24...Attendance was 16,486.
11/03 00:15:19 ET