Raleigh, NC – Eric Staal scored the game-winning goal in the third round of the shootout, lifting the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday at PNC Arena.
Staal went in on goal with speed, making a quick deke and lifting the puck past the stick side of Habs goalie Peter Budaj to seal the victory.
Cam Ward, who earned his 30th win of the season, stopped Lars Eller and David Desharnais in the shootout while former Hurricane Erik Cole shot off the post.
Chad LaRose scored in regulation for the Hurricanes, who have won two straight, and Ward posted 30 stops.
"It was a really good effort from everyone tonight," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller said. "It was great to see [Staal] be the final shooter and to score the final goal."
Blake Geoffrion netted the only goal for the Canadiens, who have lost five of their last six. Budaj was a hard-luck loser, making 28 saves on 29 shots.
After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens struck 4:32 into the second.
Mike Blunden fired a shot on goal from the left circle that was stopped by Ward, but he left the rebound sitting out front and Geoffrion took it around behind the net and slammed home the wraparound.
Skating on the man advantage, the Hurricanes evened the game at one at 10:02 of the second. Holding the puck along the left wing wall, Jamie McBain sent a pass down below the goal line for LaRose, who stepped out front and put a shot on goal from in close that was kept out by Budaj, but LaRose poked it through on a second effort.
Ward turned aside eight shots in the third period and four in overtime while Budaj made 10 stops in the third.
It was the Hurricanes' first shootout win of the season...The Canadiens fell to 7-11-2 against the Southeast Division this season, while the Hurricanes improved to 13-3-4 against the Northeast Division...Carolina finished 1-for-6 on the man advantage, while Montreal went 0-for-7...Carolina will close out its season at the Florida Panthers on Saturday, while Montreal finishes at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, also on Saturday...It was the final home game of the season and fan appreciation night for the Hurricanes.