MONTREAL - Tuomo Ruutu scored 1:43 into overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night.
Eric Staal's shot trickled between goaltender Carey Price's pads and lay near the goal-line, and Ruutu pushed it in the net.
Staal and Sergei Samsonov also scored for Carolina (16-13-5), which won three of four meetings between the clubs this season. The Hurricanes are now 12-2 in their last 15 meetings with Montreal and goalie Cam Ward improved to 9-2-2 in his career against the Canadiens.
Matt D'Agostini scored in the second period and Robert Lang forced overtime with a goal at 13:08 of the third for Montreal (18-9-6), which took five of a possible six points on a three-game homestand before its Christmas break.
The sellout crowd of 21,273 was booing Samsonov as he went in one-on-one against Roman Hamrlik, took a shot and then flipped in the rebound 13:48 into the first period.
They booed again as a quick whistle deprived Tomas Plekanec of a goal as he slid Mike Komisarek's rebound under Ward. But only a minute later, Alex Tanguay served up a puck for D'Agostini to fire into an open side 6:10 into the second frame. It was D'Agostini's sixth goal in 11 games since he was called up from AHL Hamilton.
Plekanec was sent off for slashing, and 15 seconds later Max Lapierre whacked Joni Pitkanen's stick out of his hands to give the Hurricanes a two-man advantage. Staal made it count with his 14th goal of the season at 14:52.
The booing went on and on 11:43 into the third period as Guillaume Latendresse put the puck in the net just after a whistle blew for a slashing call against Carolina's Matt Cullen, but they quickly changed to cheers as Lang drilled a low shot in from the left circle the tie the game at 13:08.
Near the 17 minute mark, Price made a huge save on Chad Larose only to be matched a moment later by Ward's save on Sergei Kostitsyn from the doorstep.
Notes - With a snowstorm blanketing the city, there was a change in officials as referee Marc Joanette worked the game instead of Kelly Sutherland and linesmen Steve Barton and Pierre Champoux filled in for Scott Driscoll and Darren Gibbs. Only ref Francois St-Laurent made it from the originally scheduled foursome. . . Andrei Kostitsyn sat out with a knee injury while Ryan O'Byrne was a healthy scratch for Montreal. . . Niclas Wallin and Wade Brookbank didn't play for Carolina.