Stastny, Raanta lead Hurricanes to 3-0 win over Canadiens
MONTREAL (AP) — Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist, Antti Raanta got his fourth shutout of the season, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Saturday night.
Sebastian Aho and Brady Skjei also scored to help the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes snap a three-game skid (0-2-1) and get their second win in six games. Raanta, back from a lower-body injury that kept him out since March 7, finished with 14 saves for his 19th career shutout.
“He’s been good for us all year,” Stastny said about Raanta. “I think every time he has an injury, he just doesn’t complain, works hard, comes back and gives us new life when we need it. ... I think when you have steady goaltending back there, it just makes everything a lot easier.”
Carolina outshot Montreal 18-5 in each of the first two periods, and 14-4 in the third.
“It’s pretty much how we play, you rarely see a lot of shots in the game,” Raanta said. “When we play like that, it’s just how good we are playing in front of me.”
Sam Montembault had a season-high 47 saves for the the Canadiens, who lost their third straight.
“That was a well-oiled team, we had no space on the ice,” Montembeault said. “At times it was like they were playing with six on the ice. Every time we made a pass they had one guy on us so I think we need to bring more energy from the start in the next game.”
Skjei got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard 6 minutes into the first period as he got a pass from Stastny, missed the puck on his first shot attempt and fired his second attempt through traffic past Montembault for his 17th of the season.
Stastny made it 2-0 with 9:09 left in the second, redirecting Brent Burns shot from the high slot in for his ninth.
Aho converted a pass from Stefan Noesen and scored from the right circle on a power play for his 34th with 3:33 remaining in the middle period.
“I thought that was as dominant as you can play a game,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I mean, we’re in their end the whole game. Their goalie made some good saves on some tips. We didn’t create a lot off the rush, but we didn’t need to.”
The Canadiens announced after the game that defenseman David Savard will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Saturday night was the second game Savard had missed.
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,” coach Martin St. Louis said 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.”
Hurricanes: Host the New York Islanders on Sunday night to open a two-game homestand.
Canadiens: Host Detroit on Tuesday night in the third of a four-game homestand.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://www.twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Associated Press