RALEIGH — The Hurricanes dominated much of the first 40 minutes against the visiting Canadiens but only had a tie to show for it going into the third period.
Seth Jarvis and his teammates made sure the last 20 minutes sealed the deal.
Carolina scored three times in the first five minutes of the third period, and Jarvis completed his first career hat trick in a 6-2 win in front of a sellout crowd on Cam Ward Night on Thursday at PNC Arena.
“That’s a pretty incredible feeling,” Jarvis said. “My dad and brother came in last night, so to have them here to witness that means the world to me. That’s something I dreamed of from when I was a little kid.”
The 21-year-old scored his second and third goals in the third period, first extending Carolina’s lead to 4-2 when defenseman Brent Burns danced through the Montreal defense before creating a rebound Jarvis banged in and then scoring shorthanded with 20 seconds remaining.
“He’s got that ability to do the special plays, and that was just all him right there,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of Burns creating Jarvis’ second goal. “A little risky … but he has the ability to do that, and he’s pretty much done on this whole career.”
The Hurricanes had nearly twice as many shots as the Canadiens through two periods but were tied 2-2 thanks to a late-period goal.
Andrei Svechnikov was sent to the box on a questionable cross-checking call at 13:54 of the middle frame, giving the Canadiens a power play. Montreal winger Mike Hoffman passed from below the goal line to Rafael Harvey-Pinard for a one-timer that made it 2-2 with just under five minutes left in the period. It gave Harvey-Pinard seven goals in the last nine games.
“We kind of let off the gas that second half of the second period,” Jarvis said. “They kind of gave it to us … so (we focused on) getting back to our game.”
The Hurricanes came out for the third and quickly took control.
Aho got his team-leading 24th goal of the season by scoring on a rebound of a Calvin de Haan shot at 2:05 of the third. Just 1:48 later, Jarvis scored his second of the night, then 67 seconds after that Jordan Staal finished off a Jordan Martinook pass for his 15th goal of the season and a 5-2 Carolina lead.
Jarvis, who came into the game with just 67 seconds of shorthanded time this season, was sent out to help kill off a Carolina penalty in the final two minutes.
Forward Derek Stepan banked a pass off the boards to spring him on a breakaway, and the second-year winger raced in on Montreal goalie Sam Montembeault (35 saves) and backhanded the puck into the top of the net for his 11th goal of the season and third of the night.
“I was begging (assistant coach Tim Gleason),” Jarvis said of being put out on the PK. “I was grabbing on his pant leg to let me out there because sometimes they put me out there in those situations. I think I messed up the PK pretty good — there was a couple close calls. But you can’t argue with a shorthanded goal, so maybe that made it up.”
Montreal had opened the scoring with a goal early in the first period.
De Haan failed to keep the puck in the Canadiens’ end on a pinch, allowing Montreal to rush up ice.
Michael Pezzetta got behind the Hurricanes and fired a shot from the hash marks. Antti Raanta (20 saves) made the stop, but Pezzetta followed his shot and knocked the rebound out of the air and in to give Montreal a 1-0 lead at 3:24 of the first.
The Hurricanes responded with two goals in just over 2½ minutes to take the lead.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi — playing his third career game against the team that drafted him — led a 2-on-1 rush up ice. Kotkaniemi called his own number, driving the net and roofing a shot over Montembeault for his ninth goal of the season to tie the game at 12:14 of the first.
Then Jarvis got his first of the game when Svechnikov won a race to the puck and got it to Aho. Aho quickly centered to Jarvis, who banged it in at 14:47 to give Carolina a 2-1 lead.
The win gave Carolina victories in nine of its last 10 and improved the Hurricanes’ record to 36-10-8 with 80 points, the second-best record in the NHL and five points ahead of second-place New Jersey for first in the Metropolitan Division.
Notes: Jarvis, Burns and Jaccob Slavin were all plus-4 on the night. Jarvis’ previous career best had been plus-2, accomplished 10 times. It matched a career high for both Burns (done four previous times, including earlier this year with the Hurricanes) and Slavin (three previous times). … It was the second three-assist game of Svechnikov’s career. … All 18 Hurricanes skaters recorded a shot on goal.
Ward inducted into Hurricanes Hall of Fame
Before the game, the Hurricanes held a ceremony to induct former goaltender Cam Ward as a charter member into the team’s new Hall of Fame. The four-person class also includes the three players who previously had their jerseys retired by the team: Brind’Amour, Ron Francis and Glen Wesley.