McElhinney makes 48 saves, Hurricanes beat Canadiens 2-1

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Curtis McElhinney stopped 48 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes 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.

McElhinney, who’s emerging as the top goaltender in Carolina, made 21 saves in the third period alone for his fourth straight victory.

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.

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.

To make room for Weber’s return, defenseman Karl Alzner was put on waivers and then assigned to the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Weber assisted on Montreal’s goal and had three shots in more than 24 minutes of ice time.

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.


Hurricanes: Host Anaheim on Friday.

Canadiens: Continue their five-game homestand, hosting the New York Rangers on Saturday.