Captain Brian Gionta and Maxim Lapierre scored exactly one minute apart late in the second period as the Montreal Canadiens skated to a 7-2 triumph over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
Tomas Plekanec scored a goal and set up three others and Michael Cammalleri, Andrei Kostitsyn, Mathieu Darche and Benoit Pouliot also tallied as Northeast Division-leading Montreal (11-5-1) posted its third straight win and fourth in the last five games.
Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek notched a pair of assists and Carey Price finished with 28 saves to improve to 10-5-1 this season.
With the game tied at 2-2, Gionta beat Cam Ward on a sharp-angle shot with 5:26 remaining in the second period. Lapierre then doubled the advantage exactly 60 seconds later following a spin move at the goal mouth.
Ward turned aside 18 shots before being relieved by Justin Peters in the second period to fall to 8-7-0 this season. The 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy winner had won six of seven career games at the Bell Centre entering this contest.
Former Canadien Tom Kostopoulos and defenseman Anton Babchuk scored and captain Eric Staal and Jussi Jokinen had two assists apiece for Carolina (8-9-0), which dropped its second in a row in decisive fashion. The Hurricanes dropped an 8-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the week.