The Montreal Canadiens broke open a close game late in the third period as Alex Galchenyuk scored two goals within 1:09 to lead the Habs to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
Galchenyuk finished with his first career hat trick as the Hurricanes dropped their sixth game in a row.
The home team had a fast start and jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Brandon Prust knocked a puck into an empty net about nine minutes into the first period. Cam Ward was drawn out of the crease on the play and no one could tie up Prust who had set up in front of the Carolina net.
The Habs outshot the Canes, 13-4 in the opening period, with the help of a late period powerplay and some lackluster play by the visitors.
The second period was a bit better for the Canes but Montreal took a 2-0 lead on a pretty passing play by Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty, and Galchunyek. Carolina had more shots in that period, 11-6.
The Hurricanes finally got on the board 6:47 into the third when Carey Price lost track of a Jeff Skinner shot. Victor Rask whacked at Price's leg pad and the puck went into the net, so Rask was given credit for the goal.
Price had another good game, par for the course for him as he made 25 saves on 26 shots. Ward stopped 25 of 29.
The Canadiens broke the game open when Galchenyuk scored his second with just 3:19 left in the game. The young star broke in the Carolina zone alone and beat Ward to put the game away. But just a minute and change later, he would score again on another nice feed from Pacioretty to complete the first trifecta of his career.
The Canes will return home looking for some healthy bodies to return to the ice as they next face the red hot Toronto Maple Leafs at the PNC on Thursday night.
- Alex Semin, Andrej Nestrasil, and Jiri Tlusty all missed this game due to various injuries. Jordan Staal of course was also out but could return soon as he is practicing with the team.
- The Canes had a horrendous night in the faceoff circle and only won 39% for the game. Eric Staal was low man with 31%. Manny Malhotra won 79% for Montreal.
- Ron Hainsey led the way with four blocked shots. The team had 11.
- The team was credited with 26 hits led by Brad Malone with five.
- Event Summary stat page