The Captain, Rod Brind'Amour notched his 400th career goal last night and the kid, Chad LaRose got his second career NHL short handed goal, as the Carolina Hurricanes went on to beat the hapless Habs, 5-3. After a dismal 1st period in which Cam Ward had to make 17 saves on 18 shots to keep the Canes within striking distance, Rod Brind'Amour scored his 399th career goal on a power play early in the 2nd period to get things rolling for the Canes. About 10 minutes later, LaRose chipped in his 3rd goal of the year on a nice mid-air put back of a rebound from a Craig Adam's shot. Radek Bonk tied the score for Montreal shortly after that, but with 10 seconds left in the 2nd, Brindy put in goal number 400 on a shot that looked eerily similar to number 399.
Those last second goals at the end of a period are back breakers and it turned out to be the same last night. Erik Cole scored the next goal for the Canes while Eric Staal added an empty netter. The scoring wasn't quite finished yet though as the Habs, Tomas Plekanec was awarded a penalty shot on a questionable call in the final minute, and scored making the final score Canes 5, Habs 3.
The previously injured Canes, Justin Williams, Bret Hedican, and Erk Cole all played last night and didn't look any worse for the wear. Williams didn't quite look like his normal self, but skated pretty well. The Hurricanes mastery of the Canadiens continued at Bell Centre where the Canes have now won 7 in a row. Cam Ward earned first star honors making a career high 42 saves. Eric Staal also played very well and was rewarded with 3 points. The rest of the Hurricanes picked up their game after a "team meeting" between the 1st and 2nd periods which caused Eric Staal to miss a scheduled interview with Tripp Tracy. Maybe they should skip interviews more often?
The night was a good one for Carolina in more ways than one. They made up ground within their division as Tampa Bay lost in overtime and Atlanta lost in regulation. That puts the 3 teams just 2 points apart with Atlanta and Tampa tied for 1st. Of course the next game is another huge one as the Thrashers come to visit the RBC Center on Tuesday night. Hopefully, the Canes will pretend they are playing in the Bell Centre because their recent efforts at home have not lived up to how they have been playing in Montreal.
Congratulations again to Brind'Amour!