Brett Pesce collected his first goal of the season to help the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Thursday.
The former Hartford Whalers swept all three games against the Canadiens this season: the win was added to those of 3-1 and 6-5, in December and January.
Carey Price blocked 27 shots for his club, which suffered a third straight setback.
Cam Ward stopped 27 shots for the Hurricanes, unbeaten in their last three meetings.
Ward deserved a second shutout this season, a 27th career. The other striker of the local club was Brock McGinn, with his eighth goal of the campaign.
“It’s not a lack of effort,” said Canadiens head coach Claude Julien. But when you do not win many faceoffs (79 percent in favor of Carolina), you must always try to get the puck back. Over 60 minutes, it makes a difference. ”
Julien would also like to see a little more bitterness of his protégés.
“You have to have more energy of despair,” he added. It’s tannic not to come out winners of tight matches like that. ”
The Canadiens will play two home games this weekend: against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, and then against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. It starts at 13:00 in both cases.
The Hurricanes were in the second game of an eight-game home run.
For a club with 33.8 shots per game, on average, the Canadiens had little trouble defying Ward in the first period. It took almost 15 minutes to see a first official shot of the visitors, that of Victor Mete. It was not until 10:25 that the Canadian really led a first puck to Ward, a far-off shot from Alexander Galchenyuk.
Claude Julien’s men finally shot only seven times in the first period – just like the Hurricanes. The only threatening shot from the local club: the one on Lee Stempniak’s reception, with four minutes on the clock.
The only chance to score from the CH in the engagement was a pass from Jakub Jerabek to the right mouth, but Joe Morrow could not complete the sequence. At the end of the period, Jonathan Drouin’s tough game gave Galchenyuk the chance to take a powerful shot, but Ward did not falter.
Pesce gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead early in the second period, at 2:43. Marcus Kruger won a faceoff and Elias Lindholm slid the disc to Pesce, whose shot earned him a first goal this season, after nine assists. In 20 out of 24 wins, the Canes were victorious when they scored the first goal of a match.
Jaccob Slavin, who was attempting a breakaway or a two-on-one, drew a penalty when Jordie Benn inflicted a double check, with 6:45 to play in the second period. Jeff Petry, Joe Morrow and Byron Froese were among those who worked hard to keep the gap to one goal.
With 2:11 remaining, it was the Canadian who had the advantage of a man, when Justin Faulk tripped Tomas Plekanec. Max Pacioretty had two close chances, including one where the referee quickly whistled, for the benefit of Ward. McGinn came close to making the Habs look bad, but his shot missed the target.
Lindholm sank on the left flank in the second minute of the last third, his low shot causing a very high rebound. In the fight before him, Carey Price was lucky to be able to stop the puck.
Midway through the third, Galchenyuk made a breakthrough and threw in front of goal, for Mete. The puck bifurcated and Nicolas Deslauriers got a golden chance, close to the net, but Ward made the save with his left pad.
“We have to figure out how to create more offense,” said Pacioretty, the captain of Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. We need to better anticipate the games … I do not know if it’s a chemistry or something else, but we need to find ways to generate more opportunities. ”
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