Brind'Amour scores twice as Hurricanes hand Habs 5-3 defeat

Publish date:

Montreal got more bad news when it was announced that No. 1 goalie Cristobal Huet, hurt Wednesday in New Jersey, will undergo surgery on a left hamstring injury on Sunday and will be out indefinitely.

Second goalie David Aebischer was not at his sharpest as the Hurricanes (30-24-7) were outshot 45-32 by a Canadiens team that continues to fire blanks on attack, which drew sustained booing in the third period from the Bell Centre's 21,273 disgruntled spectators.

Chad Larose had a short-handed goal, while Erik Cole and Eric Staal added insurance markers for Carolina, which has won four of its last six.

Sheldon Souray, with his team-leading 20th, and Radek Bonk scored for Montreal (29-25-6), which has fallen out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference while going 8-17-1 since Dec. 23. Montreal had not lost six in a row since November, 2000.

And Tomas Plekanec had a goal on a penalty shot with 53 seconds left in the game, using the Peter Forsberg reach-back move to beat Cam Ward.

Souray is the first Canadiens defenceman with 20 goals since Mathieu Schneider and Chris Chelios had that number in 1993-94 and 1987-88 respectively. The team record is 28 by Guy Lapointe in 1974-75.

The Canadiens, with hard-working rookie Duncan Milroy making his NHL debut on right wing, looked determined to end their slump as they outshot the 'Canes 18-7 in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead.

Montreal had an extra attacker on a delayed penalty when Souray's point blast beat Cam Ward at 16:36.

But Michael Ryder was called for hooking only five seconds into the second frame and Brind'Amour jumped on a good bounce at the side of the net and tucked it behind Aebischer at 1:18.

A blind back-pass at the Hurricanes' blue-line by Souray sent Craig Adams in for a short-handed shot that went off Aebischer's shoulder and was bunted into the net by Larose at 11:30.

Bonk went to the net to redirect Steve Begin's pass and tie the game at 12:43.

But Brind'Amour was on the doorstep again as Aebischer was slow to get up after making a stop and lifted one in with only 10 seconds left in the period.

Carolina had sustained pressure when Cole potted his 25th at 12:42 of the third frame and Staal got another at 18:40.

The Canadiens have a short turnaround before playing at Columbus in a 6 p.m. ET start on Sunday, when Friday call-up Jaroslav Halak may get his first NHL start. The Hurricanes returned home to play Atlanta on Tuesday.

Notes - Cole returned to Carolina's lineup after missing three games with a lower body injury. RW Justin Williams and D Bret Hedican, who both left a game Thursday with minor injuries, were back in the lineup. . . LW Cory Stillman (knee) remains out of action. . . D Craig Rivet (pneumonia) and RW Alex Kovalev (sore elbow) remain sidelined for Montreal. . . RW Aaron Downey, LW Garth Murray and D Janne Niinimaa were healthy scratches.



Slavin Wins First-Career Lady Byng

Slavin becomes just the fourth defenceman in NHL history to win the Lady Byng Trophy.


Three UFA Goaltenders Coming Off Strong Seasons

Goaltending - like the knuckleball - is a capricious beast. If an NHL GM makes the right call on a UFA twine-minder, he could have it pay off substantially; if he makes the wrong call, his team could be toast. Here are three 2021 UFAs who had good seasons and may be the answer for NHL GMs in the 2021 off-season


Tensions Rise Quickly in Semifinals Between Unfamiliar Foes

The regular season divisional format created tense rivalries, but the final four has proven that there's no love lost for the teams meeting for the first time all year.