Canadiens rout Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. - Glen Metropolit scored two power-play goals after Andrei Markov had his third in three games, and the Montreal Canadiens routed the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.


Jaroslav Halak made 46 saves for the Canadiens, who led 4-1 in the first period. Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn and Glen Metropolit added goals while Tomas Plekanec and Scott Gomez had three assists apiece.

Montreal, which entered with the NHL's second-best power-play unit, scored three times with the man advantage and is 8 for 13 on the power play through the first three games of a season-long seven-game road trip.

And in this one, there certainly was no shortage of Canadiens putting up impressive numbers.

Plekanec, who assisted on Montreal's first three goals, pushed his three-game point total to nine, and his 36 assists rank second in the league. Halak has stopped 133 of 137 shots in his last three games.

But the most significant contributions of late may have come from Markov, who missed two months with a leg injury but has four points in three games - all wins, all on the road - while providing instant offense since his return. He was inches from a fourth goal, ringing the crossbar with an early slap shot while this one was still undecided.

Brandon Sutter scored for Carolina, which pulled starting goalie Cam Ward after he allowed three goals on seven shots in 9½ minutes. Manny Legace made 16 saves in relief for the NHL's worst team, which has lost two straight, is 2-5-1 in its last eight and is the only team that hasn't cracked double digits in victories.

The Canadiens dominated this one almost from the first drop of the puck, putting two of their first three shots past Ward and all but ending this one at the first intermission.

After Carolina's Aaron Ward went off in the opening minute for boarding, Markov slipped through the back door, took a pretty feed from Plekanec and scored 89 seconds in. Roughly 2 minutes later, Montreal made it 2-0 when Andrei Kostitsyn slipped out from behind the net to score his 11th.

Sutter briefly made it a one-goal game midway through the first before Sergei Kostitsyn chased Ward 2 minutes later and Metropolit beat Legace on the power play with roughly 3 minutes left.

During the early moments of the second, one Carolina fan in the upper deck could be heard chanting, "We miss Lavi!" referring to Peter Laviolette, whom the Hurricanes fired a year ago. That fan will see him again soon enough - Laviolette brings his new team, the Philadelphia Flyers, to Raleigh on Saturday.

NOTES: The Canadiens scratched D Paul Mara (left wrist) and D Roman Hamrlik (left knee). ... D Niclas Wallin was back on the ice for the Hurricanes after missing eight games with an upper body injury. Before the game, they sent D Jay Harrison to their AHL affiliate in Albany to make room for him.



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