RALEIGH, N.C. – Cristobal Huet stopped 31 shots in his first shutout of the season, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Michael Komisarek had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who won convincingly despite being outshot 31-27 and beat Carolina in a regular-season game at the RBC Center for the first time since March 21, 2003.

Saku Koivu, Mike Johnson and Tomas Plekanec added goals for Montreal, which won a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in which the Hurricanes rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to advance in six games behind then-unheralded goalie Cam Ward.

Lightning 5, Flyers 2

PHILADELPHIA – Martin St. Louis scored two goals, goaltender Johan Holmqvist recorded his first NHL victory and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Tim Taylor, Vincent Lecavalier, and Eric Perrin also scored for the Lightning, who have beaten the Flyers 10 straight times. R.J. Umberger and Randy Jones scored for the Flyers (3-8-1), who rallied from a 3-0 deficit with a pair of goals within 21 seconds in the third period.

Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 2

SUNRISE, Fla. – Rostislav Olesz and Olli Jokinen scored in the first period to help the Florida Panthers beat Toronto 4-2 on Thursday night, snapping the Maple Leafs’ three-game winning streak.

Ed Belfour, who played the previous three seasons with Toronto, stopped 23 shots. Joel Kwiatkowski scored on a breakaway for Florida and Chris Gratton added an empty-net goal with 36.9 seconds left.

Islanders 5, Devils 2

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The sluggish line of Trent Hunter, Mike York and Miroslav Satan combined for two first-period goals and the New York Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 Thursday night.

Jason Blake, Alexei Zhitnik and Viktor Kozlov also scored, Alexei Yashin added three assists and Rick DiPietro had 14 saves for the Islanders, who won their third straight game and snapped the Devils’ two-game winning streak.

Rookie Travis Zajac scored for the Devils and set up another by Zach Parise. Martin Brodeur, who had posted shutouts in his last two starts, had 22 saves.

Blues 4, Avalanche 1

ST. LOUIS – Manny Legace made 44 saves and Bill Guerin scored twice, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Doug Weight assisted on all four St. Louis goals, giving him nine assists in his last five games. Dan Hinote and Bryce Salvador also scored for the Blues.

Legace, who did not start the previous two games, improved to 9-1 against Colorado in his career. After coming over from Detroit as a free agent, he is 3-3-1 this season with St. Louis.

Ken Klee scored for the Avalanche, who outshot the Blues 45-29. Colorado has recorded 30 or more shots in 10 of its 13 games this season.

Red Wings 2, Blackhawks 1

CHICAGO – Henrik Zetterberg and Robert Lang scored early in the third period and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 Thursday night for their fifth consecutive win.

Rene Bourque scored for injury-depleted Chicago, which lost its seventh straight game. Brian Boucher, making his fifth straight start in place of injured Nikolai Khabibulin, blocked 27 shots.

Wild 5, Canucks 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. -Nick Schultz scored to snap a tie early in the third period, helping the Minnesota Wild rally from a sluggish start and beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.

Pascal Dupuis added an insurance goal on a power play in the third and Branko Radivojevic got one even later for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom, subbing for a benched Manny Fernandez, shut out the Canucks over the final two periods. Minnesota used two big officiating breaks to get back in the game on scores by Todd White and Brian Rolston (on a penalty shot), who is among the NHL leaders with 10 goals.

Ryan Kesler and Jan Bulis scored 51 seconds apart in the first period for Vancouver. Fernandez, who has started all 12 games in the net and entered the night with a league-best .942 save percentage, was pulled after the first period for the second time this season.

Backstrom, a 28-year-old rookie who had spent most of his professional career playing in his native Finland, picked up his second NHL victory. The first came on Oct. 7 against Nashville after he allowed two goals over 40 minutes in a 6-5 win.

This time, Backstrom was better, smothering a wide-open shot on a Vancouver power play to make a nifty save in the second period and sustain the momentum the Wild gained at the end of the first when White knocked in Mikko Koivu’s shot with his skate.

Trailing by two and struggling to control the puck, Minnesota got the lift it needed when a review of White’s goal – initially waved off on the ice – reversed the original call and cut the lead to 2-1 with less than 15 seconds left before the first intermission.

Late in the second period, Rolston raced past Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick to win a 1-on-1 chase, tried a shot and then went sprawling on the ice after Fitzpatrick tripped him. A penalty shot was called, and Rolston – showing off his dangerous slap shot – smacked the puck from the top of the circles and sent it sailing past Roberto Luongo to tie the game at 2.

Luongo was in control until Rolston’s first-period power-play slap shot stung him around the neck and shoulder and sent him face down on the ice in pain. Luongo never recovered, finishing with 19 saves.

Fernandez was not sharp. Kesler, on a behind-the-net pass from Alexandre Burrows, sent a shot between Fernandez’s legs for the first score. Then Bulis, positioned perfectly between Wild defensemen Martin Skoula and Petteri Nummelin, sent in a rebound of Mattias Ohlund’s shot to give Vancouver a two-goal edge.

Notes: Rolston was named captain again for November, the sixth time in Minnesota’s six seasons that a player has been awarded the honor in consecutive months. The team has a tradition of rotating captains, instead of naming one for the entire season. … Luongo has played 13 of 14 games.

AP-ES-11-02-06 2240EST



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