Jaroslav Spacek scored in his return to Montreal as the Kirk Muller-led Carolina Hurricanes snapped the Montreal Canadiens’ four-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory on Monday.
Captain Eric Staal scored twice for the for the Hurricanes (21-25-11), who won for the third time in their last five games and collected at least a point for the fifth straight game (3-0-2). Jiri Tlusty and Jamie McBain had goals as well.
Tomas Plekanec, Erik Cole and David Desharnais replied for Montreal (23-25-9), which suffered its first loss to Carolina this season.
Cam Ward stopped 29 shots for his 21st win of the season. Carey Price stopped 30 shots for the Canadiens.
Tlusty opened the scoring when he deflected a Bryan Allen point shot past a screened Carey Price.
Spacek put his former teammates in a 2-0 hole when Jeff Skinner found him on a Carolina power play. Spacek was traded to the Hurricanes back on Dec. 9 in exchange for Tomas Kaberle.
Plekanec started the Canadiens comeback at 11:53 of the second. With Spacek caught in the Hurricanes end, Plekanec broke out on a 2-on-1 with Rene Bourque and put a wristshot past Ward. It was the centre’s 10th career goal and 30th career point against the Hurricanes in 26 games played.
Montreal’s Cole tied it 2-2 on the power play at 15:57 of the second when he moved in from the boards to the slot for his first goal against his former team.
David Desharnais gave the Canadiens their first lead of the night when he took advantage of a sprawled Ward and tucked the puck in to the net.
Carolina tied it early in the third when Staal squeaked one through Price’s pads shorthanded.
The Hurricanes regained the lead at 8:50 of the third when McBain picked up a rebound in the slot for Carolina’s second power-play goal of the night.
Notes: The Canadiens scratched Ryan White and Ian Schultz, called up from AHL Hamilton on Sunday. ... Winger Travis Moen missed a second straight game for Montreal with an upper body injury. ...Defenceman Derek Joslin was scratched for Carolina.