Hurricanes keep pace with win over Canadiens

By nickmarek
All smiles for the Hurricanes after a decisive victory (via Paul Chiasson)

The Carolina Hurricanes opened the flood gates tonight against the Montreal Canadiens, winning in a 6-2 fashion.  It is only the 7th time this season that the Hurricanes have netted six or more goals.  With the win, the Hurricanes keep pace with the Rangers and Sabres for the final playoff spot.  The team was rewarded with a standing ovation from the standing-room only crowd in the RBC Center.  The Canes have won six of its last eight games.

Jeff Skinner scored two goals in the first period to give the Canes an early 2-0 lead after twenty minutes of play.  Skinner finished as the game’s first star due to his three point performance.  Defenseman Jamie McBain played his third game back from an upper body injury and recorded his first career two goal night.  The other goal scorers for the Hurricanes were Joni Pitkanen and Cory Stillman, who also had and an assist.  The Hurricanes forced the Canadiens to pull goalie Carey Price who allowed 4 goals on 26 shots after 2 periods.  He was relieved by Alex Auld between the pipes.

Cam Ward stopped 38 shots on back-to-back nights and the only two goals he allowed came on the power play. The team is playing with a sense of urgency now and have momentum going into Saturday night’s contest against the Islanders, a team they have beaten all three times this season.  Arguably, the Canes are playing its best hockey of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With just over three minutes to play, the referees decided to hand out three 10 minute game misconducts when a few players fought after Hal Gill was called for a tripping penalty and instigated contact with Chad LaRose.  Canadiens’ Benoit Pouliot and P.K. Subban received game misconducts and Hurricanes’ Time Gleason was also ejected from the game.

For the record – Erik Cole added another assist to his season total to put him in sole possession of 10th place on the franchise’s all time assists lead.  In the past two games, Skinner has 3 goals, 1 assist and 1 shootout goal.

The Hurricanes have a few days to rest before they travel to New York to take on the Islanders at 7PM Eastern time.

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