All good things must come to an end, and that’s exactly what happened to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thanksgiving night as they fell to the Montreal Canadiens by a final score of 2-1, thus putting an end to their win streak of five games.
Carolina started well in a hostile Bell Centre on Thursday, taking an early shot advantage and finding the back of the net first. After a great defensive play by Brett Pesce, the Hurricanes turned defense into offense and Elias Lindholm capped off an offensive rush with a beautiful far-side snipe on Carey Price.
From there on, it was all Montreal in the goals department.
Moments later, Andrew Shaw broke through for the Habs on their fourth shot of the evening as he won a net-front position battle with defenseman Matt Tennyson and deflected a pass from Charles Hudon past Cam Ward to tie the game at one.
A scoreless second period, largely controlled by the Hurricanes, led to an early third-period strike from Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty at the side of the Carolina net, giving the home team a 2-1 lead that they would hold onto for the remaining 19:44 of the final frame.
The Hurricanes came out with a 32-22 shot advantage and winners of 53% of the faceoffs on Thursday. Carolina edged out Montreal in scoring chances (20-11) and high danger scoring chances (7-4). Justin Faulk led the way with seven shots on net.
Jordan Staal (+11) and Sebastian Aho (+10) led all forwards in even strength corsi. Faulk led all defensemen with a +10. Victor Rask was the only Carolina skater to finish with a negative corsi share. Tomas Plekanec (+6) and Brendan Gallagher (+4) were the only Montreal skaters to finish with a positive corsi.
The Hurricanes successfully suffocated Montreal’s top line. Alex Galchenyuk (-9) and Alexander Radulov (-10) both finished with corsi numbers deep into the negatives.
Elias Lindholm’s first-period goal extended his point streak to four games. After starting the season with 16 goalless games, he has found the back of the net twice in three games.
Cam Ward stopped 20 of 22 shots in Montreal. That marks his sixth consecutive start with a save percentage north .900. He is 5-1-0 in that stretch.
Carey Price stood on his head at times for the Canadiens, making 31 stops on the night en route to the win.
Carolina laid an egg on the man advantage, not rendering anything positive in three powerplay chances, including two opportunities in the final ten minutes of the third period. They were only able to put one shot on net on the powerplay. They did, however, go a perfect two for two on the penalty kill, extending their streak to 25. They haven’t allowed a powerplay goal since October 30.
The Hurricanes will continue their Canadian road trip in Ottawa on Saturday night prior to briefly coming home to host the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
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