Canadiens @ Canes

Posted by Chip Alexander on December 31, 2013 

The Canadiens have dominated play most of the first two periods against the Canes, taking a 3-0 lead in the New Year's Eve game at PNC Arena.

Max Pacioretty has scored twice, Lars Eller has a goal and Carey Price has been smooth and sharp in net for the Habs. The Canadiens also have killed off seven Canes power plays, including 1:45 of a 5-on-3 in the second period.

Eller scored 1:20 into the game and Pacioretty had a power-play for the Habs, who forced turnovers, were quicker to the puck and managed the puck efficiently in taking a 2-0 lead in the first.

In the second, the Habs' Alex Galchenyuk was called for slashing and then the Canadiens for having too many men on the ice. But the Canes could not take advantage of the long 5-on-3, moving the puck too slowly and not showing much movement, causing some boos from Canes fans.

Pacioretty then made it 3-0. The Habs won a faceoff in the Canes zone and P.K. Subban passed in front to Pacioretty, who got position on defenseman Andrej Sekera.

The Canes had 10 shots in the first and tried to crowd the crease, but Price had little trouble making the stops. Carolina had a brief 5-on-3 power play in the first but didn't convert, and Canes goalie Cam Ward then had to make two stops during the Canes' 5-on-4 power play.

Travis Moen and Eller each had good shorthanded tries but Ward made the saves. Defenseman Justin Faulk hooked Eller but the Canes were able to kill off the penalty.

Montreal took a 1-0 lead when the Habs' Alex Galchenyuk out battled Eric Staal for the puck behind the Canes net and passed to an open Eller. Pacioretty's power-play goal came on a tap-in of a pass from David Desharnais.

The Canes began the second period on the power play after Josh Gorges was called for interference with 24.6 seconds left in the first.

Canes defenseman Tim Gleason was a healthy scratch, further fueling speculation that he could be traded. Forward Manny Malhotra served as an alternate captain with Gleason out.

Canes center Riley Nash left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Carolina is 5-11 in New Year's Eve games and has lost five of seven played at home. It was the first New Year's Eve game at PNC Arena since 2009.

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