The CNNC sport correspondent attend the other game against a Canadian team last week and forwarded this report.
The Carolina Hurricanes beat Montreal 2-0 behind a strong 27 shot shutout performance from Cam Ward, his 27th shutout of his 13-year career. Ward was chosen the first star of the game. During his long career Ward has beaten the Canadiens on many occasions however never in a shutout until now. His lifetime record of 36 games against the Habs now stands at 20-12-4. It gave the Hurricanes a sweep of the season series.
”It’s crunch time. All you’ve got to do is look at the standings, and we’ve kind of preached that this is our playoffs,” Ward said. ”We’ve got a lot of games here at home, you want to kind of build some momentum, get some fans into the building and reward them with some wins.’’
The Hurricanes goals came off the sticks of Brett Pesce and Brock McGinn. Pesce was the best player on the ice with all the offence the Hurricanes needed with a goal at 2:43 of the second, blasting a slap shot from the point that got past Price. Cary Price made 28 saves for the Canadiens, who have lost three in a row and fell to 2-5-2 in their last nine games.
”You don’t like losing, and it is frustrating, but I think there was an effort there tonight,” coach Claude Julien said. ”But I’d like to see desperation add to that effort, because that’s what we need to turn things around.’’
Some of the Habs worked hard, notably Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin and Jakub Jarabek. The game was somewhat physical with Canadiens outhitting the Canes 54-21. Both the Habs and Canes entered the game as two of the league’s leaders in team shots: The Hurricanes rank fourth in the NHL with an average of 34.3 shots, while the Canadiens are two spots behind at 33.8 shots per game.
NHL team stats: