Game 81: Habs blown away by Hurricanes

Hurricanes’ Chad LaRose scores on Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak Thursday night. Ellen
Ozier, Reuters

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AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Mike Cammalleri | Josh Gorges

• At a Glance: For the second time in less than 10 days, the Canadiens failed to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes, a team eliminated from playoff contention that has given Montreal fits. On Thursday night, the Hurricanes posted a 5-2 win, dominating the game in just about every respect. Two Carolina players did all the damage. Eric Staal scored a hat trick and Chad LaRose added a pair of goals. The Canadiens got goals from Brian Gionta and Marc-André Bergeron. Gionta’s goal gives him 27 on the season to lead the team. Staal finished with five points on the night, while LaRose had four.

• Key Moments: The Canadiens went 0-for-2 on the power play, a facet of the game that has been dreadful of late for Montreal. The Canadiens also missed several good scoring chances, with pucks bouncing over sticks or missing empty nets.

• What It Means: With the loss, the Canadiens see their record drop to 39-33-9 and the remain at 87 points, still shy of a berth in the postseason. Montreal will be watching the scoreboard on Friday night because if the New York Rangers lose to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Canadiens will back their way into the playoffs.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens finish the regular season on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.

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