RALEIGH, N.C. - Jiri Sekac and Lars Eller scored second-period goals, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Monday night.
Montreal (23-11-2) has won three straight. Carolina (10-22-4) dropped its second in a row.
Eric Staal, playing in his 800th NHL game, scored a power-play goal for Carolina off an assist from his brother Jordan, who played in his first game since breaking his right leg during a preseason contest on Sept. 23.
Jiri Tlusty, who returned after he missing seven games due to an upper-body injury, also had an assist for Carolina. Cam Ward stopped 16 shots.
Max Pacioretty added an empty-net goal in the final minute, and Carey Price had 28 saves for Montreal. The Canadiens also won the teams' first meeting 13 days earlier, beating the visiting Hurricanes 4-1.
Sekac scored an unassisted goal from the slot at 6:45 of the second period, putting the Canadiens ahead 1-0 just 15 seconds after he came out of the penalty box.
Eller doubled the lead on a shot from the right circle off Dale Weise's pass from the corner at 18:45 of the second.
Eric Staal made it 2-1 with a power-play goal 2:59 into the third period when he followed his own shot. Jordan Staal earned the primary assist.
NOTES: Canadiens C Manny Malhotra, an alternate captain for the Hurricanes last season, played his first game in Raleigh since signing with Montreal in July. ... Hurricanes RW Alexander Semin (upper body) missed his third straight game. D John-Michael Liles sat out due to an illness. LW Zach Boychuk was a healthy scratch. ... Canadiens D Bryan Allen (illness) and D Mike Weaver (concussion) both missed a sixth straight game. LW Michael Bournival (shoulder) was sidelined for a 14th in a row. ... The teams' third and final meeting of the season will be March 19 at Montreal.