Skjei scores twice, Andersen returns to Hurricanes' net in 4-1 win over Canadiens


RALEIGH, N.C. — Brady Skjei scored two goals, Frederik Andersen made 24 saves after a four-month absence and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Thursday night.

Stefan Noesen and Andrei Svechnikov also had goals for Carolina in the team’s first game since squandering a three-goal, third-period lead against Winnipeg on Saturday.

“It was very exciting to be out there with the guys again and feel the energy of the crowd,” Andersen said. “Be happy about being back and take it a day at a time.”

After the game it was announced that the Hurricanes had acquired high-scoring forward Jake Guentzel from Pittsburgh and sent forward Michael Bunting, prospects and draft picks to the Penguins in a trade to bolster their roster for a playoff push.

“It’s hard. It’s not normal,” Skjei said before the trade was announced. “You go through it every year, but it’s definitely a little different feel in the locker room going into a game like that when you see one of your teammates leave out of nowhere.”

Montreal’s Joshua Roy scored the game’s first goal. Sam Montembeault stopped 35 shots, but the Canadiens four-game points streak came to an end.

Andersen, who improved to 5-1 this season, was in his first action since Nov. 2 because he missed time with a blood clotting issue. He had been doing on-ice work for about a month in preparation to return to games.

Andersen, who played in only his seventh game this season, was inactive for 50 games. He came onto the ice to cheers of “Fred-die! Fred-die!”

“I know he had a lot of doubts about just ever even lacing them up again,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Whether we won or lost, just getting back out there doing something that obviously he loves to do.”

By the time Andersen stopped all 11 second-period shots, he had settled in.

“He made countless good ones when we needed it,” Brind’Amour said.

Skjei helped clinch the outcome with his second goal of the night and 10th of the season with 4:29 remaining. It came with the teams skating four-on-four. It was his first two-goal game this season and the third of his career.

Roy’s blast from near the blue line appeared to deflect off a Carolina stick on just Montreal’s second shot on goal. It was his third of the season and second in as many games.

Skjei made an individual move from the left side for a tying goal at 13:02 of the opening period.

Noesen put the Hurricanes ahead with 25 seconds left in the second period with his 14th goal this season. Svechnikov scored into an empty net.

Montreal’s power play went 0 for 5.

“We just didn’t execute it,” Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki said. “We had a lot of opportunities to get a goal.”

Earlier in the day, Carolina put goalie Antti Raanta, defenseman Tony DeAngelo and forward Brendan Lemieux on waivers. Lemieux, though, was in Thursday night’s lineup.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Host Toronto on Saturday night.

Hurricanes: At New Jersey on Saturday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl



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