McElhinney makes 48 saves, Hurricanes beat Canadiens 2-1
MONTREAL (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes allowed more than twice as many shots on goal as they took, but Curtis McElhinney more than made up for it.
McElhinney stopped 48 shots and Carolina beat the Canadiens 2-1 on Tuesday night in Shea Weber’s return from injury for Montreal.
Victor Rask and Trevor van Riemsdyk scored for the Hurricanes, who have won four of five.
“We just all kind of jumped on (McElhinney) back there,” van Riemsdyk said. “He made some special saves. He stole that one for us. He’s great to play in front of. He’s so calm.”
McElhinney, who’s emerging as the top goaltender in Carolina, made 21 saves in the third period alone for his fourth straight victory.
“Things are rolling for myself personally,” McElhinney said. “I feel great personally. We got a couple of lucky breaks and that’s the way it goes sometimes.
“It’s nice to be busy. Obviously we don’t want to be giving up 48 shots but I felt good in there.”
Phillip Danault scored for the Canadiens, who extended their losing streak to five games. Carey Price made 20 saves.
Montreal outshot Carolina 49-22, but its scoring woes continued. The Canadiens have seven goals in their past four games.
Weber played in his first game since Dec. 16, 2017, and it was his first time wearing the captain’s “C″ on his Montreal sweater.
“Definitely felt better as the game went on,” Weber said. “I think it’s going to keep getting better as we go here. Obviously practice is different, so being in those actual situations where you have to react, and things are happening quickly, will be good as we go.
“Was nervous before the game and anxious to get my first shift out of the way.”
The 33-year-old defenseman missed 73 games after having two surgeries — one on his right knee and another to repair a torn tendon in his left foot.
Weber assisted on Montreal’s goal and had three shots in more than 24 minutes of ice time.
“You notice him all over the ice,” Brendan Gallagher said. “The amount of time we spent in our own zone was definitely less. His presence in front of our net was seen as well. And his shot. ... He’s the leader of our group so it’s good to have him back.”
Carolina jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 7:45 of the first period when Rask deflected a shot by Jaccob Slavin past Price for his first goal of the season. The Hurricanes improved to 9-2-0 when scoring first.
Carolina scored again with 8:01 left in the second period on another deflection. Van Riemsdyk’s shot went off Victor Mete’s skate and in.
Danault got one back for the Canadiens at 9:29 of the third period. After a shot from Weber fell to Artturi Lehkonen, the Finnish winger found Danault in the slot for his second goal of the year.
Down 2-1, Max Domi hit the post with 1:41 left in the game.
NOTES: Carolina’s Jake Bean made his NHL debut. ... To make room for Weber’s return, D Karl Alzner was put on waivers and then assigned to the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket.
Hurricanes: Host Anaheim on Friday.
Canadiens: Continue their five-game homestand, hosting the New York Rangers on Saturday.