Hurricanes rally to edge Canadiens 4-3 in shootout
MONTREAL — Under a rain of boos, former Montreal Canadien Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored the winning shootout goal and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Canadiens 4-3 on Tuesday.
Alex Belzile and Michael Pezzetta each had a goal and assist for the Canadiens, while Mike Hoffman netted a single. Chris Tierney chipped in with two assists.
Jake Allen made 36 saves for Montreal (26-33-5).
Jaccob Slavin, Brady Skjei and Jesper Fast scored for Carolina (42-12-8), while Brett Pesce collected two assists.
Antti Raanta made eight saves on 10 shots in one period of play. Frederik Andersen replaced Raanta after the first intermission and made 13 saves in relief.
Belzile broke the ice for the Canadiens at 10:17 of the opening frame. Raanta awkwardly saved a Pezzetta wrister from along the boards but Belzile hopped on the loose puck to give Montreal an early lead.
Montreal took a two-goal lead when Jonathan Drouin drove the puck along the boards and toward the crease. Just as Raanta made a move to the far post, Drouin slipped the puck to Hoffman behind him and the winger tapped in his 10th goal of the season.
Carolina instantly responded when Slavin beat Allen with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle to cut the Canes' deficit to one goal by the first intermission.
The Hurricanes tied the game one minute into the second period. Kotkaniemi won the offensive zone faceoff, then Brett Pesce located Skjei who beat Allen with a wrister for his career-high 10th goal.
Montreal regained the lead when Pezzetta tapped in Tierney’s centring pass in front of the net at 2:49 of the second period.
Stasny tied the game in the final frame by sending the puck over Allen and into the net. Habs coach Martin St. Louis challenged the play for goaltender interference and the goal was overturned after the video review confirmed that Derek Stepan had pushed the Montreal netminder.
Carolina finally levelled the score with 3:38 remaining. Pesce intercepted a clearance attempt at the blue line, sent a wrist shot and Fast tapped in the rebound to force overtime.
After a scoreless overtime period, Andersen made saves on Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson, while Kotkaniemi scored the winning shootout goal to seal the win for Carolina, which has won three straight.
Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta made an acrobatic save to deny Tierney and went down in pain. Frederik Andersen replaced Raanta to start the second period. Hurricanes defenceman Jalen Chatfield left the game during the second intermission with an upper-body injury.
Hurricanes centre Sebastian Aho played in his 500th career game. The 25-year-old recorded 456 points (209 goals, 247 assists) in 500 NHL games, only trailing Ron Francis (569) for most points through their first 500 games in franchise history.
The Canadiens host the New York Rangers on Thursday.
The Hurricanes host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2023.
Tristan D'Amours, The Canadian Press