The Carolina Hurricanes came up short in their final home game of the season while falling to the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2 in front of 15,120 faithful fans on Thursday night at the PNC Arena.
It was the fourth year in a row the Canes lost their final home game of that respective season.
Coach Bill Peters had mentioned earlier that his players, especially the youngest ones, might be "hitting the wall" and the results over the past couple of games at home look like that might be the case. But Montreal was missing several top players and their newest players stepped up on this night.
Recently signed goalie, Charlie Lindgren, fresh out of college, arguably out-played Cam Ward to earn the win in his NHL debut. After allowing a goal on the very first shot he faced, Lindgren ended up stopping 26 of 28 shots for the game.
Ward stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced in what could be his final game at the PNC wearing a Hurricanes sweater. The goalie's six-year mega contract runs out at the end of this season.
The home team got off to a great start as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the game. Riley Nash took a pass from Jeff Skinner and made no mistake, just 1:34 into the contest. It was Nash's ninth goal of the season.
Darren Dietz would tie the score though with just 10 seconds left in the period with his first career NHL goal.
Red-hot Noah Hanifin made the score 2-1 on a beautiful shot, just five minutes and change into the second. But that would be the end of the scoring for the Canes.
The Habs scored twice more later in the second and then made it 4-2 in the third to wrap it up.
The Canes were awarded the only powerplay in the game late in the third period but could not muster much of anything with the advantage. They will travel to Florida on Friday for their final game of the season, which will be against the Panthers on Saturday night.
- The Canes were outshot 31-28 for the game. They were led by Victor Rask, Patrick Brown, and Justin Faulk who had three shots on goal each.
- Noah Hanifin had a team high 23:10 of ice time. No other player reached the 21 minute mark.
- Derek Ryan left the game early with an injury and did not return. There was no update on his status.
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