Final SO

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 16th
Game 2: Wednesday, November 23rd
Game 3: Monday, February 13th
Game 4: Thursday, April 5th

Canadiens 4

(10-9-3, 23 pts)

Hurricanes 3

(8-11-4, 20 pts)

Coverage: RDS

7:00 PM ET, November 23, 2011

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 SO T
MTL 0 1 2 14
CAR 2 0 1 03

L. Eller (Canadiens - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Price (Canadiens - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .909

B. Sutter (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Canadiens-Hurricanes Preview


It wasn't even the NHL's quarter point, yet the Carolina Hurricanes felt their season slipping away following last week's loss in Montreal.

The Hurricanes have a far different mindset as the Canadiens make the first of two visits to Raleigh this season.

Carolina tries to match a season high with its third consecutive win Wednesday night while Montreal looks to bounce back from its first shutout since opening night.

Thoroughly outplayed in a 4-0 road loss to the Canadiens last Wednesday, the Hurricanes (8-11-3) were searching for answers after falling for the 10th time in 13 games.

"No question there's concern," captain Eric Staal said following the team's sixth straight defeat outside Raleigh. "Obviously, if we keep losing we're not going to be in the mix for the playoffs. So we've got to figure this out and get back to winning some games because if you keep losing, you're going to be out of the picture before you know it and the season's going to be wasted."

Carolina fell 1-0 to Buffalo on Friday, but bounced back with consecutive victories. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist in Sunday's 3-2 win over Toronto, then Alexei Ponikarovsky scored twice in Monday's 4-2 victory at Philadelphia.

"We've changed some things and we've tried to change our fortunes and our season with a pretty deep heart-to-heart conversation after our Montreal game," coach Paul Maurice said after Monday's win. "We made a change and we lost 1-0 to Buffalo, but we played one of our best games of the year. We beat Toronto and now we won here and now everyone is going, 'That's what we're talking about.'

"We think the rock bottom was Montreal and a win like this gets us going. This could change things."

Cam Ward has surely turned his season in a new direction, stopping 53 of 57 shots after losing six of seven starts.

He made 32 saves last week against Montreal and is 1-4-0 with a 3.73 goals-against average in the last five matchups between these clubs.

The Canadiens (9-9-3) will try to maintain their recent edge in this series after falling 1-0 to Boston on Monday. Montreal outshot the defending Stanley Cup champs 33-18 but was shut out for the first time since Oct. 6 at Toronto.

"I thought we played fairly well," said captain Brian Gionta, who had three goals in the previous two games. "At times we carried the play, but we just didn't find a way to solve their goalie."

If the Hurricanes are going to open their stretch of five of six at home on a positive note, they'll likely have to solve Carey Price.

Beginning with his 25-save effort against Carolina, Price has stopped 59 of 60 shots in the last three contests.

Price, though, allowed four goals -- two apiece to Skinner and defenseman Jamie McBain -- in a 6-2 loss March 30 in the teams' last meeting in Carolina.

Canadiens right wing Erik Cole makes his return to Raleigh after signing a four-year deal with Montreal in the offseason. Including the postseason, Cole is tied for seventh in Hurricanes history with 377 points and is 10th with 174 goals.

After recording two assists last week, Montreal leading scorer Tomas Plekanec will try to extend his point streak in this matchup to six. He has two goals and nine assists during this stretch.