RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes added a 3-2 win over the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens to their longest win streak of the season at PNC Arena on Friday.
Jeff Skinner, Tuevo Teravainen, and Victor Rask led the Hurricanes with a goal apiece and put together a three-goal surge in the third period while goaltender Cam Ward made 31 saves throughout to post the win.
Carolina carried the momentum forward from a 1-0 win over San Jose on Tuesday, and pushed its record to 6-6-2 following its third straight win.
However, the Hurricanes did it the hard way and had to make adjustments to counter what the Canadiens (13-3-2) presented them with early on.
“We shuffled the deck and went down to three lines and that ended up giving us a little bit of a spark,” Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said.
“I think the biggest thing, the difference between the first 40 and the last 20 – were face-offs. We were at 38 percent after two periods and all-of-a-sudden in the third we went 13-for-20 which is 65 percent. And we had the puck more. We didn’t have the puck at the start of the game. The faceoff circle helped us a lot.”
Outshooting Carolina 21-8 through two periods, Montreal led 1-0 off defenseman Jeff Petry’s rebound goal that came with 5:41 remaining before the second intermission.
After Ward made a stop on Andrei Markov’s point shot, he was unable to get in position for Petry’s rebound attempt as a result of Canadiens forward Daniel Carr bumping into him at the top of his crease.
The goal was challenged by Peters, but was affirmed soon after as Carr was pushed into the netminder by Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin.
Skinner evened the score 1-1 early in the third after the puck deflected off his skate past Habs goalie Al Montoya, following a point shot from Ron Hainsey.
Forward Sebastian Aho earned his team-leading eighth assist on the play as well.
Soon after, Teravainen tipped another Hainsey point shot and gave Carolina its first lead of the game at the 7:43 mark.
After helping to set up Teravainen’s goal, Rask netted one himself 79 seconds later, and extended the Hurricanes’ lead to 3-1 on a low shot from the right cirlcle through traffic.
Carolina tried to hang on to its two-goal advantage, but Montreal took advantage of a transition play to pull within one when Andrew Shaw tipped a Markov pass past Ward.
The netminder remained sharp until the final horn.
“They’re a team that throws a lot of pucks at the net,” Ward said.
“There were some lucky bounces. I got out of position in the first period on plays that were kind of broken up. I tried to relax, and in the second and third I thought I did.”
With Montoya out of the net, Montreal worked to get the equalizer deep in the Carolina zone, but multiple penalties to Shaw nullified that advantage.
“It was a good win at home in front of some fans,” Hurricanes alternate captain Jordan Staal said.
“We’re gonna continue to play hard for the fans and for each other. That’s all we’re gonna focus on and hopefully we can keep building on the momentum we have.”