Stempniak scores twice as Hurricanes down Canadiens to keep playoff hopes alive

Lee Stempniak scored twice as the visiting Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Thursday night to extend their point streak to nine games and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner, into the empty net, also scored for the Hurricanes (32-27-13) while Eddie Lack stopped 21 shots.

Carolina, undefeated in regulation time in nine straight games (6-0-3), is five points out of the final wild-card spot with 10 games left in its season.

Alex Galchenyuk scored the lone goal for Montreal (41-24-9). Carey Price stopped 19-of-22 shots in defeat.

The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead with 39 seconds remaining in the second period when Stempniak's harmless backhand shot took a big deflection off Alexei Emelin's skate to skip past Price.

Stempniak got his second of night at 5:11 of the third as he cashed in a 2-on-1 pass from Skinner. The goals were Stempniak's 13th and 14th of the season.