GAME: Montreal Canadiens (16-15-4-1) at Carolina Hurricanes (10-14-8-2).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
After showing a brief offensive spark under new coach Peter Laviolette, the
Carolina Hurricanes are again starting to resemble the league's lowest-scoring
The Hurricanes look to get their offense going as they host the Montreal
Canadiens at the RBC Center.
Carolina lost its second straight Friday, falling 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres.
The Hurricanes dropped to 2-2 under Laviolette, who took over as coach after
Paul Maurice was fired on Dec. 15.
Laviolette vowed to bring a more uptempo offense to Carolina to help improve
the Hurricanes' league-worst offense (62 goals). Carolina outshot the
Pittsburgh Penguins 36-11 and pulled out a 2-1 overtime win in his first game,
but has been outshot in each of last three.
The Hurricanes, who have failed to score more than one goal in 18 of their
34 games, didn't take their first shot Friday until nearly nine minutes had
passed in the first period. They finished the opening period with a season-low
"The first period was tough to stomach," Laviolette said. "I don't think
we can win many hockey games if we play like that. The first period was
unacceptable, by all measures."
Sean Hill scored Carolina's only goal at 14:22 of the third period.
"The offense is a frustrating thing," Laviolette said. "We're still
dealing with things that are hurting us."
The Canadiens are coming off Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals --
just their second defeat in six games (3-2-1).
Michael Ryder and Jan Bulis scored for Montreal, which failed to win
consecutive games for the 11th time this season. The Canadiens, who gave up the
game-winner with 54 seconds to play, have not won back-to-back games since they
beat Detroit and the New York Islanders on Oct. 20 and 23.
"Those are losses that can be avoided. It's points we desperately need,
like anybody else," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "We had an opportunity
to come out with a point, and again in the last minute we squandered that."