Series (Game 4 of 4)

Carolina leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 31st
Game 2: Monday, January 23rd
Game 3: Tuesday, January 31st
Game 4: Thursday, March 16th

Hurricanes 5

(45-15-6, 96 pts)

Canadiens 1

(31-25-9, 71 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 16, 2006

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
CAR 0 2 35
MTL 0 0 11

J. Williams (Hurricanes - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

E. Staal (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Aebischer (Canadiens - G): Saves: 36, Save Pct.: .878

Carolina (44-15-6) at Montreal (31-24-9) 7:30 pm EST

Carolina (44-15-6) at Montreal (31-24-9) 7:30 pm EST

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Carolina Hurricanes might face the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. As things stand now, they can't be too concerned with that matchup.

The Hurricanes look to record their fourth win in as many meetings with the Canadiens this season when the teams face off Thursday.

Carolina leads the Eastern Conference with 94 points - a franchise record - despite losing three straight games last week. The Hurricanes stopped the bleeding Tuesday in a 5-3 triumph over the New York Rangers.

Doug Weight had two goals and an assist and defenseman Mike Commodore added a third-period tally as Carolina maintained its one-point lead on Ottawa for the top spot in the conference.

The Hurricanes have pounded the Canadiens in three matchups this season, posting victories by the score of 5-3, 7-2, and 8-2. Jose Theodore started in goal in all three games for Montreal, but the former Hart Trophy winner was shipped to Colorado at the trade deadline, leaving Cristobal Huet as the team's primary netminder.

Huet had his shutout streak ended at 163 minutes, 11 seconds in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday. Mike Ribeiro scored the lone goal for the Canadiens, who had won five of seven.