Late triple lifts Canadiens over Hurricanes
(Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens unleashed a three-goal salvo in the third period and goaltender Peter Budaj protected the shutout in a 3-0 victory over Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
Brandon Prust broke the deadlock at 2:06 in the final period before Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty also netted shots 28 seconds apart to overwhelm the visiting Hurricanes and give the Canadiens a fourth straight win.
Budaj, filling in for the flu-ridden Carey Price, needed to make just 19 saves to record his first shutout with Montreal.
In Price's absence, Budaj has won a pair of games while fending off 37-of-38 shots.
"It definitely helps my confidence to get two wins and to be able to play well," Budaj told reporters. "Especially when the team in front of me works really hard, I wanted to play really great."
After finishing last in the Eastern Conference a season ago, the red-hot Canadiens (10-4-1) have moved to the top of the Northeast Division in the 48-game lockout-shortened season.
Cam Ward turned back 23 shots for Carolina but folded in the third as the injury-weakened Hurricanes saw their three-game winning run come to an end.
Captain Eric Staal had his 11-game point streak snapped in the defeat for Carolina (8-5-1) as they battled with an ailing lineup.
Forwards Jeff Skinner and Tim Brent along with defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason were all sidelined with injury. Continued...