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game recap

Hurricanes rally, top Canadiens in shootout in opener

Hamilton scores deciding goal after Haula ties it in third in debut for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Hamilton finds twine in shootout

MTL@CAR: Hamilton slides home winning goal in the SO

Dougie Hamilton skates in and pots the lone goal of the shootout through Carey Price's five-hole, helping the Hurricanes secure a 4-3 victory

  • 00:23 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Erik Haula scored in his debut with the Carolina Hurricanes, who rallied for a 4-3 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens in the season opener for each team at PNC Arena on Thursday.

Haula tied it 3-3 at 6:55 of the third period off a rebound at the left post.

"We looked like the team we wanted to be in the third period," said Haula, who was acquired in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on June 27. "It was clear, we all knew it. We just needed a little spark."

 

[WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Hurricanes highlights]

 

Dougie Hamilton had two assists and scored the only goal in the shootout, and Petr Mrazek made 33 saves for Carolina.

Tomas Tatar, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Weal scored, and Carey Price made 40 saves for Montreal.

"There's a few things we will correct," Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry said. "But they did a good job of eliminating space, and we made some adjustments bringing support closer and not going for the long passes, and that helped us. We'll continue to build on that, but overall, I thought it was a pretty good effort from everybody in here."

Lucas Wallmark gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 17:19 of the first period when he put in the rebound of Brett Pesce's shot from the right point.

Video: MTL@CAR: Wallmark cleans up juicy rebound in tight

Martin Necas extended the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 2:19 of the second period, redirecting Hamilton's shot from the point.

Tatar made it 2-1 on the power play at 4:18 of the second period, intercepting a clearing pass by Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele before skating into the slot and scoring blocker side on Mrazek.

Kotkaniemi scored 64 seconds later to tie it 2-2 when he gathered a rebound in the crease and scored from the low slot.

"It was the first regular-season game, so we're getting better and better every period," Kotkaniemi said. "You could tell the team was a little better in the second period already."

Weal gave the Canadiens a 3-2 lead at 16:36 of the second on a one-timer after receiving a backhand cross-slot pass from Paul Byron.

Video: MTL@CAR: Byron, Weal combine to sccore on the rush

"I give the other team a ton of credit," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "They were forcing us to do things that were just not how we play. We made so many turnovers in the neutral zone. It was just counter, counter and right down our throats. [Mrazek] made some big saves to keep us in there."

Mrazek stopped Byron, Jonathan Drouin and Nick Suzuki, who was making his NHL debut, in the shootout.

"You don't want to go to the shootout," Mrazek said. "It's great for fans, but we wanted to finish earlier. But two points, first win, what else could we ask for?"

 

They said it

"I was impressed, honestly, with the pace of the game from both teams. I think both teams were trying to make a point here tonight, and at the end of the day, you like the effort from your team and you're disappointed that a point slipped away. But it's a hard-earned point against a pretty good hockey club." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien

"I liked everything in the third period. We just got to our game. I don't know if it was shaking up the lines or guys just coming to realize that how we were playing wasn't going to work. I give them a lot of credit for digging in and figuring it out." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour

 

Need to know

Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho had four shots and was minus-1 in 22:15 of ice time. He signed a five-year, $42.27 million offer sheet by Montreal on July 1. It was matched by Carolina on July 7. … Kotkaniemi's goal was his 12th in the NHL and first on the road. … Suzuki, who was selected by the Golden Knights with the No. 13 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, was acquired by Montreal in a trade for Max Pacioretty on Sept. 10, 2018. … Canadiens defenseman Cale Fleury, the younger brother of Hurricanes defenseman Haydn Fleury, had one shot and four hits in 14:52 of ice time in his NHL debut. … Ryan Dzingel, Jake Gardiner and Joel Edmundson each made his debut with the Hurricanes.

 

What's next

Canadiens: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: At the Washington Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Video: Hurricanes edge Canadiens in shootout

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