NHL: Carolina 5, Montreal 1

March 16, 2006 at 11:21 PM

MONTREAL, Ontario, March 16 (UPI) -- Justin Williams had two goals and two assists Thursday night as Carolina beat the Montreal Canadiens, 5-1.

Ray Whitney had two goals and an assist; Eric Staal had a goal and an assist; Aaron Ward, Matt Cullen, Rod Brind'Amour, Cory Stillman, Glen Wesley and Frantisek Kaberle all assisted once; and goaltender Martin Gerber made 28 saves for the Hurricanes (45-15-6), who have won two in a row following a three-game skid.

Carolina remains the league-leader with 96 points, one ahead of Detroit and two points ahead of Ottawa.

Mathieu Dandenault had the lone goal on assists by Mike Ribeiro and Alexei Kovalev in the third period; and goaltender David Aebischer was able to make 36 stops for the Canadiens (31-25-9), who have lost two straight games.

Montreal has 71 points and leads Atlanta by one point for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina out-shot Montreal, 41-29.

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