Kirk Muller brought his Canes to contend against his former team and claimed a big win with the help of his captain, Eric Staal.
Jiri Tlusty extended his point streak to five games with an early tip-in just three minutes into the contest. It would mark Tlusty’s 13th goal of the season. Bryan Allen was credited with the assist. Jeff Skinner drew a hi-sticking call from Rene Bourque about half way through the first, which Carolina was unable to convert into a tally. Canes again failed to benefit from a power play when Alexei Emelin was charged with tripping at 13:33. Hurricanes out shot Montreal 16-6 after 20 minutes.
Side notes after the first, Habs fans booed Jaro Spacek each time he touch the puck. The behavior was a bit baffling. No worries, Spacek would get his revenge. Skinner was proven a target for aggression, perhaps trying to cash in on Skinner’s previous reactions. Tuomo Ruutu also went out with an upper body injury. Details of the injury have not been forthcoming.
At 9:41 Spacek turned that negativity into an extra-man advantage to extend the lead to 2-0. Skinner and Jokinen were the helpers in the production. Unfortunately, Tomas Plekanec answered with a wrist shot nearly 12 minutes into the second. To add to insult, Skinner returned to the box for another high stick and former Cane Erik Cole scored on the power play to tie the game. The trend continued as Jay Harrison went to the box and David Desharnais got a shot past Cam Ward. The Canadiens ended out shooting Canes 12-8 in the second and 1-4 on the power play. Canes went to the locker room trailing 3-2.
Eric Staal started the rally early in the final period with an unassisted, shorthanded goal to even the score. Nearly six minutes later, Jamie McBain scored to regain the lead. Staal was the primary contributor in the play. Although Justin Faulk temporary left the game after taking a puck to the leg, he returned to be credited with McBain’s goal. Staal continued to shine as he sealed the victory with an empty-netter shot just shy of the blue line. Canes won 5-3 in Montreal and Staal skated away with three points.
Tonight marked a huge point for Carolina. Let’s Go Canes!