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Canadiens 4, Hurricanes 1

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- Jeff Halpern scored his first goal in more than a year and Carey Price made 18 saves in his 300th regular-season game to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

Andrei Markov drew Montreal even at 1 with a power-play goal 15:03 into the first period. Halpern put the Canadiens ahead 2-1 when he beat Justin Peters from the slot for his first goal in 42 games.

Max Pacioretty scored twice in the third. He made it a 3-1 lead with his 10th goal of the season 10:58 into the period. His second of the game and 11th of the season went into an empty net with 29.4 remaining.

Jordan Staal scored 3:38 into the game for Carolina, which fell to 1-6-1 in its last eight games. Peters stopped 25 shots.

The Hurricanes remain tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference with 34 points, one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

Montreal leads the Northeast Division with 51 points, three ahead of Boston. The Canadiens, who swept the three-game season series against Carolina, are second overall in the East, five points behind Pittsburgh.

Halpern, who hadn't scored since Feb. 25, 2012, in Washington's 4-2 win in Toronto, got his first point in four games with Montreal. The veteran center had one assist in 30 games with the New York Rangers when the Canadiens claimed him off waivers on March 23.

Nathan Beaulieu, who made his Canadiens debut Saturday, assisted on Halpern's goal for his first NHL point.

Hurricanes Jiri Tlusty put a shot off the right post in the opening minute of the third.

Canadiens right winger Colby Armstrong had to be helped off the ice 4:47 into the third period after an open-ice collision with Carolina's Patrick Dwyer. Armstrong did not return.

Staal opened the scoring while a delayed penalty was signaled against Montreal. Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin lost his stick when he hooked Dwyer, who was driving to the net.

Price stopped Dwyer's shot, but Emelin crashed into the Montreal goalie and knocked him out of position as Staal put away the rebound for his ninth goal of the season.

Markov tied it with his seventh goal 11 seconds after Drayson Bowman was called for hooking at 14:52. The veteran defenseman drove a one-timer past Peters from the right point on a pass from P.K. Subban.

NOTES: Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu missed the game because of a groin injury he suffered in Saturday's 3-1 win in Winnipeg. ... Subban was named the NHL's Second Star for the month of March. Subban had 18 points in 14 games during the month, including seven goals. He led the NHL with 11 power-play points in March, including four goals... Montreal's Rene Bourque missed his 18th game in a row because of a concussion. Bourque and Ryan White, who is recovering from an ankle injury, took part in an optional skate with some of their teammates earlier Monday. White missed his fifth straight game.
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