Montreal, QC – Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty scored 18 seconds apart during a three-goal third period, and the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-0, at the Bell Centre.
Brandon Prust potted the first goal for Montreal, which sits atop the Northeast Division. Peter Budaj recorded his 10th career shutout with a 19- save performance.
"It's always a bonus when you get a shutout," Budaj said. "We played good defensive hockey, lots of blocked shots."
Cam Ward stopped 23 shots for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes.
"We just didn't have enough jump or enough energy" said Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.
Both teams entered play riding three-game winning streaks.
The contest remained scoreless until the 2:06 mark of the third. Standout rookie Alex Galchenyuk gained the blue line and Prust finished off the rush by putting the puck behind Ward.
"We got off to a good start after the (second) intermission and put pressure on them right away," Prust said.
Plekanec made it 2-0 when he let go a slap shot from the left circle that clipped Ward's left shoulder at 12:03.
The Canadiens quickly struck again as Pacioretty, a 33-goal scorer last season, finally netted his first tally of 2013. It was a fluky goal, with Ward misplaying Pacioretty's dump-in from center ice.
Staal had his point streak snapped at 11 games ... Montreal had been outscored 14-8 in the third period this season ... The Hurricanes placed defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason on injured reserve Monday with lower-body injuries ... Carolina also played without skilled forward Jeff Skinner (upper-body injury) on Monday ... Montreal rookie forward Brendan Gallagher missed the game with a concussion suffered Saturday against Philadelphia.