Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Monday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre.
Alexander Semin and the Staal brothers combined for four goals and eight points as the Carolina Hurricanes blew away the Canadiens 6-0 Monday night at the Bell Centre.
“It started bad and it just got worse,” said defenceman Josh Gorges. “I don’t think it was a lack of effort but it seemed that everything they did worked and we couldn’t get anything going.”
The Hurricanes took control of the game when they scored three goals in a 5:04 span midway through the first period.
Semin and Jordan Staal appear to be thriving after moving to Carolina in the off-season.
Semin, who signed a one-year, $7-million contract after the Washington Capitals became disillusioned with his inconsistent play, scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season and added an assist.
Jordan Staal, who was traded from Pittsburgh after he tired of playing in the shadow of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, scored a goal while his brother, Eric, had a goal and three assists.
Anthony Stewart and Jussi Jokinen scored the other Carolina goals.
Semin opened the scoring at 9:07 of the first period, Jordan Staal made it 2-0 at 10:29 and Stewart scored at 14:10. Semin made it 4-0 at 5:20 of the second period and that was the cue for coach Michel Therrien to yank starting goaltender Carey Price.
“We have three more games this week and a busy road schedule the rest of the month and the game was out of reach,” explained Therrien. “We couldn’t get any momentum and I thought that Carey could use the rest. And Peter (Budaj) hasn’t played for a while. We have back-to-back games coming up and this gives him some game action.”
Cam Ward registered the shutout for the Hurricanes. He made 23 saves with 12 of them coming in the first period.
“I felt pretty good to start the game and I got solid support,” said Ward. “I felt a little sorry for Carey because I’ve been in games like that when nothing goes your way. They had a chance early in the game when I think it was (Max) Pacioretty had an opening but he broke his stick on the shot. If he scores the first goal, it’s a different game.”
The Canadiens are in New York to play the Rangers Wednesday and return to the Bell Centre Thursday against the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings. They are in Buffalo Saturday and then play the Sabres at home on Monday before leaving on a six-game road trip.