With its playoff hopes starting to look bleak, everything went
Carolina’s way Tuesday night.
Nothing’s gone right for the Hurricanes against their next
Carolina hopes to build off a critical win and perhaps pull
closer to the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed Wednesday night at
the RBC Center, but it’ll have to first find a way to solve a
Montreal Canadiens team looking to complete a four-game season
The Hurricanes (36-30-10) won three of four heading into
Tuesday’s game in Washington, but that stretch didn’t help them
make up any ground in the East. Eighth-place Buffalo entered the
night with nine points in its last five games to take a five-point
lead for the conference’s final playoff berth.
While the Sabres lost 4-3 at Toronto, Carolina picked up two key
points in the nation’s capital. Jeff Skinner’s third-period goal
evened the score at 2, then he and Tuomo Ruutu scored in a shootout
to lift the Hurricanes to a crucial 3-2 victory.
“We got a little help, now we go back at it,” coach Paul
Maurice said. “We go home with some emotion and some excitement
now, and feeling good about being right back in it.”
As ninth-place Carolina gets a visit from current No. 6 seed
Montreal (41-29-7), Buffalo will host the seventh-place New York
Facing the Canadiens hasn’t worked out well for the Hurricanes.
Montreal has outscored Carolina 14-7 in winning all three games,
with six of those tallies coming in 12 power-play chances.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are 1 for 13 with the man
The Canadiens suffered through their own serious power outage
over the past week, getting shut out in three consecutive games for
the first time since Oct. 23-29, 1949.
They got all the offense they’d need within a few seconds
Wednesday against Atlanta. Roman Hamrlik broke a 199-minute,
1-second drought with a goal 12:56 into the first period, and
Mathieu Darche scored 11 seconds later to help lift Montreal to a
“Obviously it’s a big monkey off everybody’s back when we popped
that first one,” said Carey Price, who made 27 saves.
Price lost what would have been his ninth shutout on a
controversial goal midway through the third period, though he still
tied Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff for the NHL lead with his 21st home
Price has been much easier to score on away from the Bell
Centre. He’s 4-3-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average at home since
Feb. 9, but 5-6-0 with a 3.29 GAA in that same stretch on the
Price is 4-2-1 with a 2.09 GAA in seven starts against the
Hurricanes over the past three seasons, though. With a regulation
win Wednesday, Montreal would be nine points ahead of Carolina,
virtually ensuring a playoff spot.
“The two points are all that really matters at this point,”
Price told the NHL’s official website. “When you have teams
creeping up behind you, just putting two points on the board is the
Carolina captain Eric Staal has seven goals and seven assists in
his last seven games against Montreal. He missed last month’s 4-3
loss with an upper-body injury, the only game he’s missed this