for this game

Whitney's two goals help Hurricanes cruise past Canadiens

Dec 9, 2007 - 4:43 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Ray Whitney and the Carolina Hurricanes feel right at home in Montreal.

Whitney scored twice as the Hurricanes cruised past the Montreal Canadiens, 5-1, on Saturday.

Erik Cole, Eric Staal and captain Rod Brind'Amour also tallied for Carolina, which has won nine straight visits here. The Hurricanes also even their record to 2-2-0 on their current five-game road trip.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored for Montreal, which has lost five straight at home and four of its last five overall.

"It seems, for some reason, we play better away from home right now," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "The focus on the little details of the game are better on the road. When we come home, for whatever reason, we get out of the game plan. We're not playing the simple, tight, defensive hockey here like we do on road trips."

Cole got the Hurricanes off to a fast start when he took a feed from Matt Cullen before firing the puck past the stick side of rookie goaltender Carey Price at 3:51 of the first period. It was Cole's fifth goal of the season and first since November 24.

"Towards the end of the game, I was booing from the penalty box for the home fans, just trying to start something," Cole said. "Then the crowd turned on (the Canadiens) a little bit. This arena is different than others. You've got to continue to put one in the net. In other places, you can slow the game down and lose the crowd early, but here, it takes a little longer."

The Canadiens nearly tied it seven minutes later, when after a rapid-fire series of shots at Cam Ward were knocked away. But the third-year netminder could not handle a final attempt, as the puck bounced to his left side and near the goal line before Montreal defenseman Mark Streit knocked it into the net.

However, after video review, the replay officials determined that Streit used his skate to push the puck over the line, wiping out the tally.

Still in the first session, the Hurricanes increased their lead during a man advantage.

Justin Williams wristed a shot from inside the blue line that Staal deflected past Price with 8:47 left. It was Staal's 15th of the season, one shy of team leader Cory Stillman.

Montreal halved its deficit when Kostitsyn was credited a power-play goal after the puck deflected off defenseman Tim Gleason and past Ward midway through the second period.

Just over two minutes later, however, Chad LaRose gathered a pass from Williams, raced up the ice before stopping at the top of the left faceoff circle and fed Brind'Amour in the slot. Carolina's captain hesitated before rifling the puck past Price to make it 3-1.

"When you get a goal scored on you, you want to get that next one right away, and fortunately, we did," Brind'Amour said. "That kind of got the game back to being our game, and we didn't have to do too much after that."

Just before the end of the middle session, Whitney gave the Hurricanes a 4-1 bulge when he one-timed a shot during a power play past the beleaguered young Price with 45 seconds remaining.

Whitney ended any hopes of a comeback for the Canadiens when he scored at 6:28 of the third.

"As a group, we wanted to shoot the puck a lot more," Whitney said. "In Tampa Bay the other night, we were kind of on the outside looking for something better. But a lot of times, goals come from somebody just getting the puck to the net. This game gave us something that we needed, but we still have some work ahead of us."

The tally capped Whitney's second two-goal game of the season.

"You have to give them credit, they're a good, fast team with a lot of offense throughout the four lines," Koivu said. "I think the concern is more about our own effort and the way we are playing now. We have to find a solution to play like we do on the road and the way we did here earlier in the season."

Whitney's performance provided plenty of support for Ward, who stopped 35 shots in improving to 7-0-0 lifetime - including the playoffs - at the Bell Centre.

"There were not a lot of second chances," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said of Ward's play. "He really had to stand out in the third period when we were going to the box. I thought we played well in front of him, but it's a two-way street. Cam did his job, was aggressive within himself, and overall, it was a good team effort."

Price made 26 saves for the Canadiens before being lifted at the beginning of the final period for Jaroslav Halak, who made five saves.

"I removed (Price) because he was not playing good, the team wasn't playing good," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I also wanted to try and get some energy in the team with (Halak) going in. I knew there would be ups and downs with a 20-year-old goalie, and right now, Price is down."

Carbonneau also could not understand why Montreal is playing so poorly at home but will attempt to find some answers starting Sunday.

"No day off, here tomorrow at 11 a.m.," Carbonneau said as he walked out of the postgame news conference.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 2 2 1 5
    MONTREAL 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 5 (MATT CULLEN, RAY WHITNEY) 3:51
    CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 15 (SCOTT WALKER, JUSTIN WILLIAMS)
    12:13
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, TOMAS
    PLEKANEC) 9:36
    CAR - ROD BRIND'AMOUR 14

    Dec 8 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 5
    MONTREAL 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 14 (ERIK COLE, MATT CULLEN) 6:28

    Hurricanes vs. CanadiensDec 8 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 2 2 4
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 5 (MATT CULLEN, RAY WHITNEY) 3:51
    CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 15 (SCOTT WALKER, JUSTIN WILLIAMS)
    12:13
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, TOMAS
    PLEKANEC) 9:36
    CAR - ROD BR

    Dec 8 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 4
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) RAY WHITNEY 13 (DENNIS SEIDENBERG, MATT CULLEN)
    19:26

    Hurricanes vs. CanadiensDec 8 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: CAR - ROD BRIND'AMOUR 14 (CHAD LAROSE, JUSTIN WILLIAMS) 11:46

    Hurricanes vs. CanadiensDec 8 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, TOMAS
    PLEKANEC) 9:36

    Hurricanes vs. CanadiensDec 8 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 2 2
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 5 (MATT CULLEN, RAY WHITNEY) 3:51
    CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 15 (SCOTT WALKER, JUSTIN WILLIAMS)
    12:13
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 18 18


    Dec 8 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 15 (SCOTT WALKER, JUSTIN WILLIAMS)
    12:13

    Hurricanes vs. CanadiensDec 8 7:36 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: CAR - ERIK COLE 5 (MATT CULLEN, RAY WHITNEY) 3:51

    Hurricanes vs. CanadiensDec 8 7:16 PM