Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, November 17th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 23rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 31st
Game 4: Thursday, April 8th

Hurricanes 2

(3-12-5, 11 pts)

Canadiens 3

(10-11-0, 20 pts)

Coverage: RDS

7:30 PM ET, November 17, 2009

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
CAR 0 2 0 02
MTL 1 0 1 13

T. Plekanec (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

M. Cullen (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

C. Price (Canadiens - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

Hurricanes-Canadiens Preview


Although the longest losing streak in franchise history is finally over, the banged-up Carolina Hurricanes still have plenty of problems entering Tuesday night's visit to Montreal.

The Canadiens, however, are also struggling as they try to snap a three-game home losing streak and beat the Hurricanes in regulation at Bell Centre for the first time in nearly six years.

After Carolina (3-12-4) dropped 14 straight games during a 0-10-4 stretch that lasted more than a month, the team's first victory since Oct. 9 certainly didn't come easily.

The Hurricanes led Minnesota 4-1 on Sunday night before the Wild scored three goals, but Jussi Jokinen tallied the only goal in the shootout to give Carolina a 5-4 win.

"It has been such a long time, it's relief more than anything," winger Ray Whitney told the Hurricanes' official Web site. "You still scratch your head as to why we gave up a three-goal lead but in the end we'll take what we got."

The club, already playing without top forward Eric Staal and stalwart goaltender Cam Ward due to injuries, had a few other players added to the injury list from the victory.

While defenseman Aaron Ward was scratched for the game with a lower-body injury, three other players -- Joni Pitkanen, Scott Walker and Stephane Yelle -- left with undisclosed injuries.

The Hurricanes are already having trouble replacing Cam Ward, who is out for several weeks after his leg was cut by a skate Nov. 7 at Columbus. While Manny Legace started and lost the first two games after the team acquired him in the wake of Ward's injury, backup Michael Leighton earned the victory Sunday despite allowing four goals on 32 shots.

"I just told (assistant coach Tom) Barrasso that I don't know what's going on but all I want is a chance to play," Leighton said. "He said, 'You'll get your chance,' and tonight was my chance and I took advantage of it with a win. We've got to get back into this thing because we're pretty far behind."

Montreal (9-11-0) is also fading in the standings thanks to a 3-6-0 mark in its last nine games, a stretch that includes just one regulation win.

The team is attempting to bounce back from perhaps its worst effort of the season in a 2-0 loss at Nashville on Saturday night. The Canadiens were outshot 55-20 in the game, with goalie Carey Price tying a franchise record with 53 saves.

"He performed well, there is no doubt," coach Jacques Martin said of Price. "It's unfortunate that his teammates didn't take advantage of a performance like that."

The struggles were nothing new for Montreal's offense, which was also blanked in a 1-0 home loss to Calgary last Tuesday after a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Nov. 7. The Canadiens are 0-3-0 at home in November after winning their last five at Bell Centre in the previous month.

The Hurricanes are 7-0-1 at Montreal since the NHL lockout, and they haven't lost at Bell Centre in regulation since a 3-1 defeat on Dec. 6, 2003.

The Canadiens probably won't have an easier time scoring goals if winger Brian Gionta remains out for any length of time. The newcomer, tied for the team lead with eight goals, missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury Saturday.