Kotkaniemi, Hurricanes deny Canadiens first win, remain undefeated


MONTREAL — Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored in his first game against his former team, helping the Carolina Hurricanes keep the Montreal Canadiens winless with a 4-1 victory at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Sebastian Aho had two goals and an assist, Andrei Svechnikov scored for a third straight game, and Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for Carolina (3-0-0).

Tyler Toffoli scored the Canadiens’ first power-play goal of the season, and Jake Allen made 29 saves for Montreal (0-5-0), which tied its longest season-opening losing streak in 83 years.

Montreal also lost its first five games in 1995-96. The Canadiens’ longest losing streak to start a season was seven games in 1938-39.

Kotkaniemi got his first point in three games for the Hurricanes. It was his first time facing the Canadiens since they announced Sept. 4 that they would not match the one-year, $6,100,015 offer sheet Carolina tendered to the restricted free agent forward.

He deflected Brady Skjei‘s point shot to give the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead at 9:23 of the third period.

Aho scored his second of the game into an empty net for the 4-1 final with 39 seconds left. 

He put Carolina up 1-0 with a power-play goal 23 seconds into the second period. Aho dragged his left knee along the ice to get down low and score on a back-door one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Teuvo Teravainen.

Svechnikov made it 2-0 at 2:12 with his fourth goal in three games. He took a cross-ice pass from Martin Necas down low on the right side, stepped up toward the net and scored on a wrist shot over Allen’s glove.

Toffoli pulled the Canadiens within 2-1 at 17:57 when he scored on Montreal’s 18th power play of the season and fifth of the game.

A power-play goal by Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher at 5:33 of the first was overturned after Carolina challenged for goaltender interference.

The Canadiens were 1-for-6 on the power play and are 1-for-19 this season.

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