(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes try to extend their longest winning
streak of the season and deal the Montreal Canadiens consecutive losses for
the first time in a month as the two teams collide on Thursday night.
The Hurricanes have won four straight and five of their last six to open up a
six-point lead for first place in the Southeast Division. They kicked off a
three-game homestand with Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists and Justin Peters made 37 saves in
his season debut and 23rd career start. Peters was recalled from the minors
after Carolina announced that No. 1 netminder Cam Ward will miss the next 6-
to-8 weeks due to a sprained MCL and was given that start because Dan Ellis
"He's a competitor," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said of Peters. "You take good
and bad (because) you're learning all the time. He's been wanting to be here
and he showed that he's prepared himself. He's matured and he was ready for a
big game and had a really strong effort tonight."
As did Eric Staal, who logged three assists to surpass 600 career points. He
has nine points over his last four games, while Jiri Tlusty has four goals and
two assists over his past four games following a goal versus the Sabres. Jussi
Jokinen finished with a goal and an assist.
Carolina takes aim at its longest winning streak since winning seven in a row
from Feb. 5-March 4, 2010 against a Montreal club that had an 11-game point
streak halted with Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders.
The Canadiens had gone 8-0-3 since getting shut out at home by the Toronto
Maple Leafs on Feb. 9.
Montreal got power-play goals from P.K. Subban and Brian Gionta to even the
game at three, but the Islanders netted the final three goals and ruin
Gionta's milestone goal, which was the 20,000th for the Canadiens franchise in
"It's always nice with the history of this organization to be a part of it,"
said Gionta, "but we're looking at today and it was a tough game for us. We
battled back to get ourselves into it."
Michael Ryder registered three assists and Carey Price made just 18 saves on
23 shots faced in defeat. He has yielded 12 goals in his last two games after
having given up just three in the previous three games.
The Canadiens will play the third of a five-game road trip and have won six of
their past nine versus the Hurricanes. That includes a 3-0 win at Montreal on
Feb. 18, which saw Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty score 18 seconds apart
during a three-goal third period.
Canadiens backup netminder Peter Budaj made 19 saves in the shutout.
The Sports Network