Hockey / Sports

Jordan Staal (11) of the Carolina Hurricanes battles Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)

Hurricanes enter Olympics break following loss to Canadiens

RALEIGH, N.C. -- There would be no third-period comeback by the Carolina Hurricanes this time.

The Montreal Canadiens took a lead into the final period Saturday against the Canes and didn't let up, taking a 4-1 victory at PNC Arena.

Forward David Desharnais had a pair of goals and goalie Carey Price, who leaves Sunday for the Sochi Olympics to play for Canada, picked up his second win over the Canes this season.

It was the final game for both teams before the break for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Canes (26-22-9) don't play again until Feb. 25, on the road against the Buffalo Sabres, and don't play another home game until March 7.

On New Year's Eve, the Canes rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third against the Habs and won 5-4 in overtime. The victory ended a five-game winless streak for Carolina and spurred a January surge by the Canes.

But the Habs (32-21-6) shut out the Canes 3-0 on Jan. 28 in Montreal behind Price, and returned Saturday to make amends for the one that got away. They did it, for the most part, without forward Max Pacioretty, who suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.

The Canadiens scored twice in 81 seconds late in the second period, wiping out a 1-0 Canes lead. Desharnais scored off the rush with 2:08 left in the period and then Ryan White off a rebound with 42.7 seconds left as the Habs pushed ahead.

Desharnais' second goal came on another rush early in the third as Brendan Gallagher picked up his second assist of the game. Brian Gionta added an empty-netter late in the game.

The Canes took a 1-0 lead on Drayson Bowman's score with 14:18 left in the second. Bowman rifled a shot from the top of the right circle as Tuomo Ruutu screened Price.

Pacioretty, who has been named to Team USA for Sochi, was hurt as he drove the net with 7:30 left in the first. Canes defenseman Brett Bellemore rode Pacioretty into the post and Pacioretty dislodged the net, then fell to the ice in pain.

Pacioretty, who leads the Habs with 26 goals, was helped off the ice. His status for the Olympics was not immediately known after the game.

Anton Khudobin started the game in net for the Canes and was playing his 17th consecutive game. Price was victimized for four goals in the third period in the New Year's Eve comeback by the Canes but was sharp enough Saturday.

The Canes, completing a back-to-back set, nearly scored on a first-period power play as Eric Staal redirected a shot and the puck glanced off the post. Price also made a nice save on a shot by Drayson Bowman after the power play.

A shot by the Habs' Rene Bourque early in the game forced a review. Khudobin made the stop with his right pad, but the Habs kept poking at the puck.

The Canes killed off a Mike Komisarek boarding penalty late in the first. Komisarek was in the lineup replacing John-Michael Liles, who suffered a lower-body injury Friday against Florida.

After Bowman's goal in the second, his first since Dec. 27 against Pittsburgh, the Canes had a power play and chance to add to the lead. Andrej Sekera forced Price into a good stop with an outside shot and Elias Lindholm had an open shot in the slot but with high with his attempt.

Desharnais scored after the Habs caught the Canes out of position and countered quickly. White's goal, his second of the season, came after a shot by Andrei Markov that was weakly defended by Alex Semin and had White fight for position in front of the net.

(c)2014 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Visit The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) at www.newsobserver.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services




blog comments powered by Disqus