Price gets 3rd shoutout, Canadiens beat Hurricanes

MONTREAL (AP) - The surging Carolina Hurricanes brought out the best in the struggling Montreal Canadiens.

Carey Price stopped 36 shots for his third shutout of the season and the Canadiens beat the Hurricanes 3-0 to snap a season-high four game losing streak.

Brandon Prust, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty scored the goals for Montreal.

“The team was engaged,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien after the team’s first win in nearly two weeks. “It was a nice team win. A lot of guys had great games.”

Carolina had won four in a row coming in and 10 of their last 13. The strong play had helped the Hurricanes jump four places in the Metropolitan Division in January, good for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, were coming off a 5-0 rout against Washington last Saturday, and had been outscored 19-5 during their skid. Montreal had also allowed at least four goals in each of their last six games.

However, the Canadiens kept the Hurricanes off the scoreboard thanks to two first-period goals, 27 blocked shots and a goaltender at his best.

“As a group we knew what we needed to do,” Price said. “There’s no question that we talked about it enough, and it was time to do it.

“We played with a lot of confidence tonight. … It came down to us just willing to win.”

After a big save by Price on Nathan Gerbe at one end of the rink, Prust scored what turned out to be the winner on a fast break the other way at 6:11 of the first period.

Rene Bourque, who had only one assist coming in, started the tic-tac-toe play when he found Josh Gorges in the clear to Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin’s right. Gorges, who finished the game with a team-high seven blocked shots, quickly passed the puck to Prust, who beat the Hurricanes‘ goalie with a wrist shot under the blocker for his fifth of the season.

“My goals are usually when crashing the net, going off my leg or something,” Prust said. “This was a good one to get.”

The Canadiens doubled their lead late in the period when Gallagher persistently poked home his own rebound, getting the better of the Hurricanes in a six-player melee in front of Khudobin’s net.

Pacioretty added an easy tap-in at 1:41 of the second for his 22nd of the year to make it 3-0.

Therrien praised his team, but also the way they approached the recent bad form.

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