The Montreal Canadiens took advantage of another spotty defensive effort by the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night as they blew out the Canes, 7-2 at the Bell Centre. The Hurricanes have now allowed 15 goals in their last two games.
The Habs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period but the Canes tied things up midway through the second and it looked like they might make a hockey game of it. Eric Staal found Anton Babchuk sneaking behind the defense for Carolina's first goal, a powerplay tally, then the captain passed it to Tom Kostopoulos and the former Hab made no mistake.
But with the scored tied 2-2, the wheels fell off for Carolina and it was all Montreal after that.
Cam Ward allowed a goal from the short side to Brian Gionta on a rush, then one minute later he watched a strange goal go by him to a spinning Maxim Lapierre. Paul Maurice saw enough and put in Justin Peters, but the Habs kept rolling and the Canes were helpless to stop them.
After the game, Maurice called Ward's performance "average".
While Carolina did manage a few good scoring chances, Carey Price was equal to the challenge and was solid throughout the game.
Paul Maurice switched up the lines at the start of the third period. Skinner and Cole moved to Staal's line and that is a line that should have some major jump to it. Jokinen and LaRose moved to Ruutu's line, and Sutter was matched with Samsonov and Dwyer. Will the lines stay that way? Stay tuned.
The Canes will take an off day on Sunday, then will go back to the drawing board on Monday to try to figure out how to stop the onslaught of goals against. Their next opponent is Ottawa on Wednesday night at the RBC.
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- Carey Price out-played Cam Ward in this one, which is unusual in Montreal.
- The Canes finished 1 for 6 on the powerplay. The Habs were 3 of 6, plus they scored their first 5-on-3 goal of the season in this one.
- The team finished at 41% in the circle. Staal was 45%, Sutter 46%, Ruutu, 33%, and Matsumoto 33%.
- It was a rough weekend for the fathers as they had to sit through two blow outs. Next year has got to be better.
- The good news is that the Canes played harder and better in this game than they did against the Flyers. The bad news is that it didn't matter.
- The buzz after the game with Mike Maniscalco and John Forslund? Expect to see some lineup changes soon. The team has to change something up after the last two showings and the 15 goals allowed. Status quo is unacceptable. Patrick O'Sullivan will certainly get a shot, but his defense has never been the strongest part of his game. It would also not be shocking to see Jamie McBain reassigned to Charlotte in exchange for Brett Carson.
Post game interviews: