Hill broke Carolina's power-play slump, scoring twice with the
man advantage in leading the Hurricanes to a 2-1 overtime victory
against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Hill's game-winner came three seconds after Andrei Markov was
called for a cross check on Jeff O'Neill 35 seconds into OT. Ron
Francis won the draw and Hill blasted a high shot over the glove of
"One of the big things is I'm getting in tighter to the net for
my shots. I don't need to take slap shots," said Hill, who has
broken numerous sticks this season with big windups. "And I only
have one stick left now so I'm not taking a whole lot of slap shots
in games or practices."
Theodore had little chance to save Hill's quick winner.
"I didn't see it. I got screened off," the Montreal goaltender
said. "I went down to protect the bottom half of the net and he
Carolina had been scoreless on its last 26 power plays --
including 18 in a row under new coach Peter Laviolette -- before
Hill's low wrist shot with the man advantage beat Theodore with
4:32 left in the second period.
Hill had gone 33 games without a goal before scoring on
consecutive nights. He notched his first of the season in a 3-1
loss at Buffalo on Friday night.
"Both shots tonight were quick, hard and accurate," Laviolette
said of Hill. "It's nice to see him get it off and hopefully he
can gain some confidence from that and keep it going.
"He's an offensive guy who can shoot the puck. In my opinion,
he belongs on the power play."
Montreal lost its third straight road game after being off two
days for the Christmas break.
"You would hope your team comes back with a little more jump,
but we seemed rusty," coach Claude Julien said.
Zednik's 12th of the season tied Sheldon Souray for the team
Jan Bulis also hit the post with 6:49 left in regulation for the
Canadiens before Hill's dramatic winner.
Laviolette changed Carolina's lines and defensive pairings to
try to get some offense out of the lowest scoring team in the
league. But the Hurricanes scored two goals or less for the 27th
time in 35 games.
"I don't think we'll be the highest scoring team in the NHL,
but the goals will come more freely -- maybe with confidence, maybe
with wins," said Laviolette, now 3-2 since replacing Paul Maurice
behind the Carolina bench.
Carolina got a four-minute power play less than two minutes in
when Joe Juneau high-sticked Rod Brind'Amour and drew blood. The
Hurricanes didn't even get a shot on net.
Montreal's only power play of the first produced the best
scoring chance of the period. However, Weekes stoned Michael Ryder
from in close with 1:41 left to keep it scoreless.
Weekes also stopped Ryder from point-blank range less than two
minutes after Carolina took a 1-0 lead.
Jesse Boulerice was a healthy scratch for the first time
this season for Carolina. ... Montreal's Patrice Brisebois played
in his 750th career game. ... The Hurricanes have just 16
first-period goals in 35 games. ... Carolina's Erik Cole has gone
19 games without a goal. ... After a slow start, Montreal captain
Saku Koivu has points in 11 of 16 games.