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McElhinney shines as Canes edge Canadiens

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Curtis McElhinney had his best performance yet with 48 saves, and Victor Rask scored his first goal of the season as the Hurricanes won for the fourth time in their last five games.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for the Carolina Hurricanes to bounce back from Saturday night’s clunker in Brooklyn. Riding a spectacular game from Curtis McElhinney in net, the Canes topped the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 at the Bell Centre.

The Hurricanes (12-9-3) got goals from Victor Rask and Trevor van Riemsdyk.

McElhinney was the star of the show, stopping 48 of 49 Canadiens shots and making every timely save the Hurricanes needed him to come up with.

The Hurricanes jumped out to a quick start in this one; Rask notched his first goal of the season by screening Price and tipping home a point shot from Jaccob Slavin. Rask’s goal was exactly the kind the Canes need more of; he banged bodies with Canadiens defenders and fought for positioning in front of the net before getting the deflection tally.

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There was a scary moment for the Canes early on as Jordan Staal had a knee-on-knee collision with Max Domi of the Canadiens, but he returned to the ice after being checked out in the locker room.

The Canes got a fortuitous bounce for a 2-0 lead with eight minutes left in the second period as van Riemsdyk crept in from the point and sent a pass across the crease that deflected in off Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete.

McElhinney came up huge late in the second period with a point-blank stop on a Jordie Benn shot from between the circles to keep Carolina up by a pair.

Aho then nearly put the Canes up by three with less than a minute left in the second, but zipped a shot off the post.

Early in the third, van Riemsdyk came up with the defenseman stick save to keep the Canes up 2-0.

Montreal did cut the lead in half about halfway through the third period; Phillip Danault picked up the rebound of a blocked point shot and snapped it home from between the circles.

The Canes pulled Price for an extra skater with just over two minutes to play, and there a couple frantic moments for the Canes, but McElhinney and the defense locked it down and held on for the win.

Defenseman Jake Bean made his NHL debut, logging 8:07 and posting one shot on goal.

The win pushed the Canes past the Canadiens for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, as Carolina has played one fewer game than Montreal and the teams have the same number of points. The team will now get a couple days off before hosing the Anaheim Ducks Friday.