MONTREAL — The Carolina Hurricanes bounced back from consecutive losses with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
Paul Stastny had one goal and one assist. Brady Skjei and Sebastian Aho added goals as Carolina (48-18-9) took the season series 3-1.
Antti Raanta, who returned from a lower-body injury that kept him out since March 7, made 14 saves. Raanta hasn’t recorded a regulation loss since Nov. 17, 2022.
After falling 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings last Thursday, the Hurricanes showed why they lead the Metropolitan Division by outshooting Montreal 50-14.
Goaltender Sam Montembeault kept the Canadiens (30-41-6) close by making 47 saves.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring six minutes into the opening frame when Skjei beat Montembeault by whipping a shot through traffic.
Carolina controlled the first half of the game, outshooting the Canadiens 28-7 by the midway point of the second period.
The visitors scored their second goal of the night at 10:51 of the second period when Stastny redirected Brent Burns’ wrist shot from the point to net his ninth of the campaign.
Aho upped Carolina’s lead to three on the power play at 16:27 during a delayed call for a second Montreal penalty. Stefan Noesen found his Finnish teammate with a cross-crease pass who completed the one-timer.
The Hurricanes peppered Montembeault in the final frame but the Habs netminder stood tall, including a glove save as he was down on the ice without his stick. Montembeault was cheered as he blocked Carolina’s 50th shot but the team was booed as the game ended.
Canadiens forward Joel Armia made his return to the lineup after missing the last 19 games with an upper respiratory infection. Armia replaced Rafael Harvey-Pinard, who was given a rest day but accepted the Molson Cup awarded to the player of the month before the game.
“He needs a day off,” said Habs coach Martin St. Louis about Harvey-Pinard before the game. “He gave us a lot recently and he’s got a few bruises so we’re giving him the night off.”
The Canadiens welcome the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
The Hurricanes host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.