Hurricanes beat Canadiens to snap four-game skidFeb 7, 2007 - 4:29 AM
Kaberle and Williams both scored on the power play and the Hurricanes snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Carolina scored only seven goals in its four-loss slide and was unable to muster an even-strength tally against Montreal.
"We needed a win, first and foremost we needed a win," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "We needed it bad, it just so happens I like the way we got it. I think the players like the way we got it. We got exactly what we deserved."
After a scoreless opening period, Williams put the Hurricanes in front 2:26 into the second. He took a pass from Eric Staal by the left boards and moved right in front of the goal, where he beat goaltender David Aebischer with a wrist shot into the low right corner.
Just under two minutes later, Montreal tied the game. Tomas Plekanec cleanly won a draw sending the puck to Alexei Kovalev in the high slot, where Kovalev ripped a shot through the pads of Cam Ward.
But that was all the offense the Canadiens could muster and Kaberle gave the Hurricanes a much-needed victory with a power-play goal midway through the third period, beating Aebischer from the point with the help of a screen by Williams.
"We moved the puck pretty good on the power play and I just got the puck on the blue line, there was traffic in front of the net and I just tried to get the shot on the net and it went in," Kaberle said. "It's our game down low, cycle and go to the net and get shots to the net."
Kaberle was making his season debut and he made his only shot of the game count. He had shoulder surgery on September 11 and missed Carolina's first 55 games.
"I was a little bit nervous because I hadn't played a game in seven months," he said. "I was a bit nervous about how I was going to play and how my shoulder would hurt, but everything went very well."
Carolina entered the game with 59 points and held the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by one point over Toronto.
"Our players are starting to realize where we're at," Laviolette said. "We didn't have this last year. The last 25 games we have to fight every night. We have to use this as a positive."
Aebischer made 32 saves for Montreal, which dropped to 4-5-1 in its last 10 games.
"We were looking for a good game with lots of intensity and I think that's what we brought tonight but unfortunately it wasn't enough," Aebischer said. "We have two tough games coming up so we have to put this one behind us, take out the positive, what we did well and cut our mistakes a little bit more."
Ward stopped 25 shots and was pleased to help get Carolina back on track.
"It's that time of year when you look at the standings and see what kind of race it is," Ward said. "Every game down the rest of the stretch is like a playoff game."
- CAROLINA: 2
Feb 6 10:00 PM
3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) FRANTISEK KABERLE 1 (RAY WHITNEY, ROD BRIND'AMOUR)
Hurricanes vs. CanadiensFeb 6 9:43 PM
- CAROLINA: 1
End of 2nd
Feb 6 9:08 PM
2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 13 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 4:45
Hurricanes vs. CanadiensFeb 6 8:42 PM
2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) JUSTIN WILLIAMS 27 (ERIC STAAL, ROD BRIND'AMOUR)
Hurricanes vs. CanadiensFeb 6 8:37 PM
- CAROLINA: 0
End of 1st
Feb 6 8:14 PM
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- Hurricanes' Staal has MCL sprain Sat
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- Habs' Price to miss remainder of first-round series May 9
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- Habs' Gionta to miss rest of playoffs May 8
- Senators push Canadiens to the brink with Game 4 OT victory May 8
- Habs G Price leaves game May 7
- Top Shelf: Habs-Sens becoming rivals in a hurry May 7
- Gionta, White to miss Game 4 May 7