Carolina is 21-4-1 at the RBC Center, where it has won 12 of its last 13 games. Its current seven-game home winning streak has equaled the franchise record established in Hartford from March 16-29, 1985.
The Hurricanes had matched another franchise record recently with a nine-game winning streak, which came to an end Saturday in a 5-2 loss to the Washington Caitals. It was just the third time in their last 21 games the Hurricanes did not record a point and their first loss in regulation since Dec. 28.
Despite playing against the worst penalty-killing team in the league, the Hurricanes failed to score on any of their nine power-play chances.
“Our power play wasn’t working,” captain Rod Brind’Amour said. “They capitalized on their opportunities, and we didn’t.”
Erik Cole scored on a short-handed penalty shot in the third period, and Brind’Amour added his 21st goal of the season two minutes later.
Cole has a career-long six-game points streak with four goals and four assists over that span.
Carolina was without Cory Stillman for a second straight game due to a torso injury and called up forward Keith Aucoin on Sunday from Lowell in the AHL. Aucoin, 27, was leading Lowell in goals, assists, points and power-play goals.
Goaltender Martin Gerber had 22 saves against the Capitals and is 6-1 in his last seven starts with a 2.68 goals-against average. The third-year goalie has won both his starts against the Canadiens.
The Canadiens have scored just five goals in their last three road games and allowed six in the first 13:47 of Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
It was the 15th road loss in the last 16 games for the Canadiens, who are 1-12-3 in that span while being outscored 61-34. Montreal has lost six straight road games since a 4-3 win Dec. 28 at Tampa Bay.
“Once we got down a couple of goals I think we went into shock and at that point, really the game tonight was over,” said Bob Gainey, who is 2-2 as Montreal’s interim coach. “Our team stumbled hard early in the game, and really by the 5-minute mark of the first period the outcome of the game was established.”
Michael Ryder scored his team-leading 20th goal and had an assist against the Canucks. Ryder has a four-game scoring streak against the Hurricanes with two goals and three assists in that span.
After getting off to a great start this season, Theodore has struggled. The nine-year veteran started the season 10-3-1 with a 2.90 GAA, and has since gone 6-10-4 with a 3.52 GAA.
Theodore is 11-7-3 with a 2.24 GAA lifetime against the Hurricanes.