Lapierre returns Hurricanes to loss column
Canadiens forward fires shootout winner while Price stands tall in net
Maxim Lapierre scored the lone shootout goal Tuesday night to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Montreal.
Carey Price turned aside all six shooters he faced in the shootout after Andrei Kostitsyn tied the game with just over two minutes to play in regulation. Max Pacioretty also scored for the Canadiens (10-11-0), who are 8-0 this season in games that go past regulation.
After stopping a team-record 53 shots in a 2-0 loss in Nashville on Saturday, Price made 30 saves on 32 shots Tuesday and dazzled in overtime and the shootout to get his second win in three starts.
"When I was going through a hard streak I didn't know what to do," Price said of a month-long period where he lost six straight starts. "When you're going through a tough patch it's really tough, especially when you're putting in the work and you don't know what's wrong. I had a feeling like I had to change something but I didn't, I just stuck to it."
Price was particularly sharp in overtime as Carolina enjoyed a power play for the final 1:59, stopping four shots during the man advantage, including a game-saver on Erik Cole with about 20 seconds left.
"It's tough to (kill) a 4-on-3 because there's so much ice out there, but our guys did a good job," Price said. "They kept everything to the outside, basically. We got a couple of big blocks there where I wouldn't have seen the puck go in if it hadn't been blocked."
Brandon Sutter and Jussi Jokinen scored for Carolina (3-12-5), which is already missing starting goaltender Cam Ward and saw backup Michael Leighton leave the game with a lower-body injury midway through the second period.
Leighton made 10 saves on 11 shots, and Manny Legace stopped 23 of 24 shots he faced in relief.
"I thought [Legace] did a real good job," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "He got a bad break on the tying goal, but he came into a tough spot and faced some pucks right away and he did the job."
Lapierre was the 11th shooter of the shootout and he beat Legace with a deke to the forehand before putting a wrist shot just inside the post. Matt Cullen was Carolina's last hope for its second straight shootout win, but Price got a pad on his shot that settled on the goal line before the Canadiens netminder swatted it away in celebration.
The Canadiens' offensive struggles continued as they have now scored only eight goals in their last six games.
That allowed the Hurricanes to post one of their best defensive efforts of the season, giving up fewer than three goals in regulation for the first time in 13 games.
"Where we are we're not throwing any points back, that's for sure," Maurice said. "But our team's actually battled pretty hard. They've competed and we haven't had a lot of easy things happen to us."
Montreal got on the board in the first period by capitalizing on a poor Carolina line change, with Tomas Plekanec finding Pacioretty alone in the slot for his second of the year at 5:41.
The Hurricanes are 0-7-4 this season when allowing the game's first goal.
Carolina drew even at 3:28 of the second when Sutter tipped home a Ray Whitney feed for his fifth of the year.
A Jaroslav Spacek turnover at the red line to Cullen allowed Carolina to enter the Canadiens zone and find Jokinen for a one-timer from the right circle at 6:20 of the second to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead.
Leighton left the game at 7:12 of the second after stretching out to make a nice glove save on a Spacek point shot, sending recent AHL signing Legace into the net, who was rarely tested until Kostitsyn tied it late in the third.
Kostitsyn took a shot from the right side that bounced off the side of the net, but he picked up his own rebound and banked one in off Legace from behind the net at 17:14 of the third to tie the game 2-2.
Both teams are riddled with injuries. The Canadiens were without defencemen Andrei Markov (ankle), Ryan O'Byrne (knee) and Hal Gill (foot) along with wingers Brian Gionta (lower body), Matt D'Agostini (concussion) and Georges Laraque (back).
Carolina was minus Ward (leg), forwards Eric Staal (upper body) and Scott Walker (upper body) as well as defenceman Joni.
Hurricanes blue-liner Aaron Ward returned to the Hurricanes lineup after missing a game with a lower-body injury.