Martin Gelinas continued his blistering start to the 2000-01 season with a goal and rookie Josef Vasicek extended his point and assist streak to four games, but the Carolina Hurricanes could not overcome a hat trick by Montreal's Brian Savage in a 5-2 loss against the Canadiens.
Gelinas scored his third goal of the season 4:56 into the first and Shane Willis scored his second on the power play at 8:54 of the second for the Hurricanes. Vasicek assisted on both goals.
Savage had his sixth career hat trick, combining with linemates Martin Rucinsky and Trevor Linden to account for all of Montreal's offense, as the Canadiens extended their home winning streak to four games.
"Those are three quality players," Gelinas said. "I had a chance to play with Trevor (in Vancouver) for many years. He's a strong, talented player. I don't think he's been playing to his potential since he's been in Montreal, but now he's playing well -- he's playing with some great players."
Carolina recalled defensemen Mike Rucinski and Greg Kuznik from Cincinnati of the IHL. Rucinski, who had three assists in six games for the Cyclones this season, made his first NHL start since the 1998-99 season, while Kuznik made his NHL debut.
1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
Carolina 1 1 0 2
Montreal 1 2 2 5
First Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, Gelinas 3 (Vasicek, G Wesley), 4:56. 2, Montreal, Rucinsky 2 (power play) (Savage, T Linden), 12:22. Penalties: Laflamme, Mon (interference), 2:44; G Wesley, Car (slashing), 11:00; Halko, Car (boarding), 18:05.
Second Period: Scoring: 3, Montreal, Savage 3 (T Linden, Rucinsky), 1:15. 4, Carolina, Willis 2 (power play) (Ozolinsh, Vasicek), 8:54. 5, Montreal, T Linden 3 (Rucinsky, Savage), 19:48. Penalties: Laflamme, Mon (holding), 2:35; Rivet, Mon (roughing), 7:09; Langdon, Car (slashing), 17:11.
Third Period: Scoring: 6, Montreal, Savage 4 (T Linden, Rucinsky), 5:36. 7, Montreal, Savage 5 (empty net) (Rucinsky), 19:05. Penalties: Battaglia, Car (tripping), 9:23; Laflamme, Mon ( double high sticking minor), 11:57; Oneill, Car (slashing), 12:41; Karpa, Car (roughing), 14:21; T Linden, Mon (slashing), 14:21; Oneill, Car (slashing, roughing), 19:47; Rivet, Mon (roughing), 19:47.
SHOTS ON GOAL
Carolina 6 9 5 --20
Montreal 7 8 8 --23
Power-play Conversions: Car - 1 of 5, Mon - 1 of 4. Goalies: Carolina, Irbe (22 shots, 18 saves; record: 2-1-2). Montreal, Theodore (20, 18; record: 2-0-0). A:19,654. Referees: Jackson, Joannette. Linesmen: Kovachik, Nowak.