Canadiens’ Andrei Markov is crumpled against the boards late in Saturday’s game.
John Kenney, The Gazette
• At a Glance: The Canadiens capped off what was billed as a tough week with their third-straight victory on Saturday night, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 7-2 on Saturday night. Carey Price made 28 saves for his 10th win of the season, already closing in on the total of 13 he won all of last season. The Canadiens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to goals by Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri. The Hurricanes tied the game 2-2 in the second period when Anton Babchuk scored a power-play goal 9:08 into the period. Former Hab Tom Kostopoulos scored two minutes later with a wrist shot over Price’s shoulder. But the Canadiens stormed right back, scoring three times before the period with Brian Gionta scoring his fourth of the season with a wrist shot over Cam Ward’s shoulder. Maxim Lapierre made it 4-2 when he went it alone, spun in front of Ward and slid the puck into the open side of the net. That goal marked the end of Ward’s night, replaced by Justin Peters, who was promptly beaten by Benoit Pouliot made it 5-2 with a power-play goal with less than two minutes to play. With about five minutes to go in the third period, Andrei Markov crumpled to the ice after what appeared to be a knee-on-knee hit by Eric Staal. Markov was unable to put any weight on his right knee walking off the ice, and he was seen punching the boards while lying on the ice, which could be a sign Markov knew something was wrong. Andrei Kostitsyn scored his seventh of the season while the Canadiens enjoyed a two-man advantage late in the game, making it 6-2, while Mathieu Darche made it 7-2 while Carolina was still killing off the second penalty. Montreal finished 3-for-6 on the power play and the Hurricanes have allowed 15 goals in their last two games.
• Key Moments: MIdway through the third period, Price made what could be his best save of the season when he moved across his crease to absolutely rob Chad Larose of a sure goal with a great glove save.
• What It Means: The third-straight win improves Montreal’s record to 11-5-1 for 23 points and first place in the Northeast Division.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens continue their four-game homestand with visits from the Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs with games on Tuesday, Thursday and next Saturday.