|MTL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||7|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
The Carolina Hurricanes have less than 24 hours to sharpen their penalty killing strategy.
The Canes allowed three power-play goals to Montreal at the RBC Center to open the season in a 3-2 overtime loss, and five more Friday night against the No. 2 power play unit in the NHL in a 7-4 lopsided loss.
The leaders in the Southeast Division travel to play the New York Islanders on Saturday night, the club that began the night with the top-ranked power play in the league.
“We don’t have time to really sulk about this one,” said Cam Ward, who entered the game with a stellar 1.85 goals against average but was pulled after the first period. “It’s disappointing, but we have a chance to redeem ourselves soon. You never want to sit on the bench. You always want to be out there helping out.”
“The positive is we get to go play (Saturday night) and we don’t have to stew on it too long,” added coach Peter Laviolette. “It’s not like we have five days off. Obviously it was a lousy game for us. We can only hope to be better Saturday.”
It was just the second regulation loss for Carolina in 11 games, allowing a franchise-record four power-play goals in the first period.
“We were not doing the little things like blocking shots,” Laviolette said. “We didn’t try to get in the shot lanes. I thought we were trying to do other people’s jobs out there. A penalty kill, above all things, is about a system, and being willing to pay a price with hard work. We had been pretty good with that, but we did not execute tonight.
“From the drop of the puck we were late to the battles. We didn’t have a lot of jump in our stride. It was work ethic.”
The Hurricanes received some life after falling behind 5-1 when Eric Staal beat Cristobal Huet on a penalty shot late in the second, but Montreal countered less than two minutes later after Justin Williams was called for roughing for a 6-2 lead heading into the third.
Staal is off to another fast start with eight goals in his first 11 games. He had the same total after 12 games last season before tailing off and scoring 30 one season after he notched 45.
Ray Whitney closed the gap to three goals again with a backhander less than five minutes into the third, and Rod Brind’Amour scored with less than two minutes left before Montreal closed out the Canes with an empty-net goal.
“They were just teeing them up and they just happened to find the net,” Brind’Amour said about Montreal’s power play goals. “It was one of those nights we were just fighting it from the get-go.”
The Canes allowed just seven first-period goals in their opening 10 games, but couldn’t stop Montreal in the opening 20 minutes on this night, surrendering two in the opening 8:40 and five altogether in the worst period so far this season.
Carolina did cut the Montreal lead to 2-1 midway through the period when Jeff Hamilton poked in a shot by Staal, whose long reach came into play yet again in the slot.
But the Canadiens countered a minute later, then added two power play goals in the final 1:54 – one on the two-man advantage when Staal took a hooking penalty and Glen Wesley was whistled for delay of game.
The four first-period power-play goals chased Ward, who was tied for the NHL lead with six wins.
“Everybody needed to be better in the first period _ everybody,” Laviolette said when asked about Ward being pulled in favor of John Grahame.
NOTES: Dennis Seidenberg, a healthy scratch for the last five games, replaced Niclas Wallin, who was out with a groin injury. … Cory Stillman extended his point streak to four games with an assist on the Hamilton goal. … Carolina allowed 20 shots against Vancouver and 21 to Buffalo on Wednesday night, but 15 in the first period alone against Montreal. … The Canes have now allowed 10 power play goals in five games this season at the RBC Center. … Brind’Amour extended his team-best point streak to eight games.
|Kyle Chipchura (2) ASST: Andrei Markov (4), Tom Kostopoulos (3)|
1 - 0 MTL
|PPG - Tomas Plekanec (2) ASST: Guillaume Latendresse (1), Mark Streit (4)|
2 - 0 MTL
|Jeff Hamilton (4) ASST: Eric Staal (6), Cory Stillman (7)|
2 - 1 MTL
|PPG - Alex Kovalev (5) ASST: Andrei Markov (5), Tomas Plekanec (6)|
3 - 1 MTL
|PPG - Saku Koivu (3) ASST: NONE|
4 - 1 MTL
|PPG - Mark Streit (2) ASST: Roman Hamrlik (5), Tomas Plekanec (7)|
5 - 1 MTL
|PS - Eric Staal (8) ASST: NONE|
5 - 2 MTL
|PPG - Tomas Plekanec (3) ASST: Patrice Brisebois (3), Guillaume Latendresse (2)|
6 - 2 MTL
|Ray Whitney (5) ASST: Keith Aucoin (2), Matt Cullen (6)|
6 - 3 MTL
|Rod Brind'Amour (3) ASST: Justin Williams (11), Frantisek Kaberle (3)|
6 - 4 MTL
|SHG - EN - Mathieu Dandenault (2) ASST: Saku Koivu (7), Mike Komisarek (2)|
7 - 4 MTL
|Mikhail Grabovski Holding against Frantisek Kaberle|
|Trevor Letowski Tripping against Mark Streit|
|Mike Commodore Hooking against Chris Higgins|
|Frantisek Kaberle Hooking against Michael Ryder|
|Glen Wesley Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Tom Kostopoulos Fighting against Craig Adams|
|Craig Adams Fighting against Tom Kostopoulos|
|Matt Cullen Cross checking against Mike Komisarek|
|Bret Hedican Hi-sticking against Mikhail Grabovski|
|Alex Kovalev Tripping against Ray Whitney|
|Francis Bouillon Roughing against Ryan Bayda|
|Ryan Bayda Roughing against Francis Bouillon|
|Justin Williams Roughing against Mark Streit|
|Mike Komisarek Tripping against Matt Cullen|
|Mark Streit Interference against Keith Aucoin|
|John Grahame Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Bryan Smolinski Unsportsmanlike conduct|