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Canadiens 4, Hurricanes 1

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Center David Desharnais scored two goals and goaltender Carey Price made 31 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Saturday night at PNC Arena.

Desharnais and center Ryan White scored in an 85-second span in the waning minutes of the second period as the Canadiens wiped out a 1-0 deficit. Desharnais scored again in the third period before right winger Brian Gionta's empty-net tally closed out the scoring.

Montreal takes a three-game winning streak into the Olympic layoff, though there are concerns about the condition of one of its top players.

Left winger Max Pacioretty departed in the first period after he crashed into the net amid contact from Carolina defenseman Brett Bellemore. Team officials reported the ailment to be a lower-body injury.

Pacioretty, who was pegged to be on the U.S. Olympic team when it begins play next week in Russia, leads the Canadiens with 37 points, including 26 goals. He scored a total of three goals in two previous games against Carolina, while he was coming off a hat trick two nights earlier against Vancouver.

Hurricanes left winger Drayson Bowman scored less than six minutes into the second period for Carolina, which lost for the third time in five games heading into the Olympic break. Two of the losses came to Montreal.

Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin, playing in his 17th consecutive game, stopped 20 shots.

Price, who shut out the Hurricanes with 36 saves Jan. 28 in Montreal, owns a 10-5-2 career record against Carolina.

Bowman's first goal in 15 games came with a slap shot after the Hurricanes reversed the puck.

The Canadiens pulled even with precision passing, leading to Desharnais's goal with 2:08 remaining in the second period. Desharnais, who delivered a pass to right winger Rene Bourque before getting the puck back for the shot, has four goals in 12 games.

White was in front of the puck when he was struck by the puck and then turned to deposit the puck into the net.

NOTES: Hurricanes D John-Michael Liles sat out with a lower-body injury suffered a night earlier. It was the first game he missed since arriving in a Jan. 1 trade with Toronto. ... Montreal has seven Olympians, with G Carey Price (Canada), D P.K. Subban (Canada), LW Max Pacioretty (U.S.), C Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic), G Peter Budaj (Slovakia), D Alexei Emelin (Russia) and D Andrei Markov (Russia). ... Pacioretty, who is Montreal's top scorer with 26 goals, left Saturday night's game with a first-period injury. ... Carolina is sending D Justin Faulk (U.S.), RW Tuomo Ruutu (Finland), D Andrej Sekera (Slovakia) and RW Alexander Semin (Russia) to the Olympics. ... The Hurricanes announced a crowd of 18,680 for their second home sellout of the season. ... The Hurricanes resume play earlier than originally scheduled after the Olympic break, playing a make-up game Feb. 25 at Buffalo. ... Montreal picks up its schedule Feb. 26 at home against Detroit.
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