11/2/2006 10:04:23 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - 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 quarter-final series in which the Hurricanes rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to advance in six games behind then-unheralded goalie Cam Ward.
Ward was inserted into the lineup during that series and emerged as one of the key components of Carolina's run to its first Stanley Cup.
This time, the Canadiens beat him four times and took command midway through the second period by scoring twice within a span of 1:44.
Komisarek streaked down the right side, dodged a sliding Ray Whitney and snapped a shot past Ward for a short-handed goal at 10:45.
Moments later, Koivu took a pass from Sergei Markov near center ice, made a nifty move on Whitney and maneuvered into the slot, then beat Ward with a wrist shot for a power-play goal at 12:29.
Koivu was playing against the Hurricanes for the first time since his career-threatening eye injury, which happened when Carolina's Justin Williams accidentally poked him in the left eye with his stick.