National Hockey League

Habs net 3 in 3rd to top Hurricanes

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty scored 18 seconds apart during a three-goal third period, and the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-0, at the Bell Centre.

Brandon Prust potted the first goal for Montreal, which sits atop the Northeast Division. Peter Budaj recorded his 10th career shutout with a 19- save performance.

Cam Ward stopped 23 shots for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes.

Both teams entered play riding three-game winning streaks.

The contest remained scoreless until the 2:06 mark of the third. Standout rookie Alex Galchenyuk gained the blue line and Prust finished off the rush by putting the puck behind Ward.

Plekanec made it 2-0 when he let go a slap shot from the left circle that clipped Ward's left shoulder at 12:03.

The Canadiens quickly struck again as Pacioretty, a 33-goal scorer last season, finally netted his first tally of 2013. It was a fluky goal, with Ward misplaying Pacioretty's dump-in from center ice.

Game Notes

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal had his point streak snapped at 11 games ... Montreal had been outscored 14-8 in the third period this season ... The Hurricanes placed defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason on injured reserve Monday with lower-body injuries ... Carolina also played without skilled forward Jeff Skinner (upper-body injury) on Monday ... Montreal rookie forward Brendan Gallagher missed the game with a concussion suffered Saturday against Philadelphia.

02/18 22:35:06 ET

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