Plekanec's 4 points lead Canadiens over Hurricanes

Tomas Plekanec had a goal and three assists to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 7-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri each had a goal and an assist and Jaroslav Spacek had two points for Montreal, including an assist on Maxim Lapierre's highlight-reel goal 15:34 into the second period.

Lapierre spun around in front of the net and scored his second of the season into an open right side 1 minute after Gionta's goal to put the Canadiens up 4-2, chasing Cam Ward from Carolina's net for a second straight game.

Spacek got his second assist when Benoit Pouliot made it a three-goal lead with a power-play goal late in the period on Justin Peters, who also took over for Ward in Thursday night's 8-1 loss to Philadelphia.

Carey Price made 27 saves and Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche also scored for Montreal, which won its third straight.

Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos scored goals 2:13 apart midway through the second period to draw the Hurricanes even at 2. Eric Staal and Jussi Jokinen assisted on both goals.

Ward stopped 18 of 22 shots. Peters made eight saves.

Gionta restored Montreal's lead at 3-2 14:34 into the second period when he picked the top right corner for his third goal in his last four games.

Lapierre chased down Spacek's flip pass in the Hurricanes' zone to set up the goal that chased Ward. The Montreal forward appeared to be going to his backhand when he cut across the goal mouth, but he spun around and scored into the wide open net.

Pouliot scored at 18:09 to increase the lead to three.

Plekanec, who got his second assist of the game on Gionta's goal, opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season 11:18 in.

He and Gionta assisted on Cammalleri's fourth goal at 18:32 which put the Canadiens up 2-0.

Plekanec got his fourth point of the game with an assist on Kostitsyn's power-play goal 17:43 into the third.

Darche added Montreal's seventh goal at 18:35.

NOTES: Canadiens D Andrei Markov suffered an apparent right knee injury in the third period. Markov, who had off-season surgery on the same knee, punched the boards in frustration after he fell into them following a hit by Staal. He favored his right leg as he was helped off the ice. ... The theme from "The Price is Right" was played over the Bell Centre sound system after Price made a spectacular glove save on Chad Larose 10:03 into the third.