A relentless attack helped the Carolina Hurricanes snap out of their funk.
Justin Williams and Eric Belanger scored less than a minute apart in the third period last night to lead the Hurricanes past the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, in Raleigh, N.C.
Erik Cole added a pair of goals off his own rebounds for the Hurricanes, who stayed on the attack almost the entire game. Carolina finished with a season-high 48 shots to keep steady pressure on Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet. Cam Ward finished with 25 saves for Carolina.
Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who had won four of five. Huet finished with 44 saves.
The Hurricanes had lost three of four, prompting coach Peter Laviolette to meet with his players in groups after Wednesday's practice and discuss ways to get the Stanley Cup champions refocused. The Hurricanes responded with a strong effort, surpassing their previous season high of 40 shots -- set three times -- before finally pushing ahead with the scores from Williams and Belanger.
With the score tied at 2, Williams took a pass from Ray Whitney and flipped a backhand shot by Huet from near the right circle for the go-ahead score at 12:27 of the third. Then, after a battle along the boards in the Montreal zone, Belanger corralled the puck and flipped a shot by Huet for a 4-2 lead at 13:13.
Thrashers 5, Maple Leafs 0 -- Marian Hossa and host Atlanta kept Toronto reeling.
Hossa had three goals and an assist, Kari Lehtonen stopped 36 shots, and the Thrashers beat the Maple Leafs for the first time in more than three years.
Toronto lost its third straight, matching its longest skid of the season. It scored only one goal in each of its back-to-back losses to the Bruins before facing more scoring problems against Lehtonen and the Thrashers.
Senators 6, Panthers 0 -- Dany Heatley had two goals and an assist and Ray Emery made 31 saves as host Ottawa posted its first shutout of the season in a victory over Florida.
Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Andrej Meszaros, and Antoine Vermette also scored for Ottawa, which won its second straight but lost defenseman Wade Redden, who left in the first period with an upper-body injury.
The Senators, who moved a game over .500, have won seven of eight since a 7-11-1 start.
Ducks 2, Canucks 1 -- Ryan Getzlaf scored the tiebreaking goal on a two-man advantage with 7:34 left as visiting Anaheim won its fourth straight game to improve to an NHL-best 19-2-6.
Andy McDonald also scored and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 23 saves for Anaheim.
Goalie Roberto Luongo's errant clearing attempt cost his team on the winning goal, but he kept the Canucks in the game with several brilliant glove saves.
Capitals 4, Stars 3 -- Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves and withstood a third-period rally to finally defeat the only NHL franchise he had never beaten when host Washington beat Dallas.
Richard Zednik, Chris Clark, Matt Pettinger, and Alexander Semin scored for the Capitals, who won their second straight after six losses.
Kolzig, who won his 255th career game, had been 0-9-1 against the Minnesota/Dallas franchise before handing the Stars their season-high third consecutive loss.
Predators 5, Blues 4 -- Jordin Tootoo's first goal of the season snapped a tie early in the third period, helping visiting Nashville win its fourth straight game.
Scott Hartnell scored his fourth goal in three games and had an assist for the Predators.
The game drew an announced attendance of 5,410, the fifth lowest in franchise history, held down by daylong snow and sleet that hampered traffic in St. Louis.
Coyotes 7, Kings 4 -- Ladislav Nagy, a healthy scratch Saturday, scored a goal and added three assists in his return, leading host Phoenix past Los Angeles.
Flyers 3, Islanders 2 -- Rookie defenseman Alexandre Picard posted the first two assists of his NHL career and visiting Philadelphia used three special teams goals to beat the Islanders.
Avalanche 7, Oilers 3 -- Tyler Arnason had two goals and an assist, leading visiting Colorado.