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Svechnikov hat trick leads Hurricanes past Canadiens


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Andrei Svechnikov scored three times and Jesper Fast had two goals, helping Antti Raanta and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Thursday night.

Svechnikov got his fourth goal of the season 1:35 into the first period. He snapped a tie with 6:09 left in the third, and then secured his third career hat trick with an empty-netter with 18.9 seconds remaining.

Sebastian Aho had four assists for Carolina, and Brent Burns added three assists. The Hurricanes were coming off a 5-2 win at Nashville on Wednesday night.

The 34-year-old Raanta made 18 saves in his first NHL game since Dec. 15.

“Just good to get him back in there and get him hopefully feeling good about the way things went,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.

Raanta was placed on waivers and completed an assignment in the American Hockey League before being recalled this week. He was the backup for the victory against the Predators.

“It’s a big win for him and hopefully it’s going to give him confidence,” Svechnikov said.

Mitchell Stephens, Mike Matheson and Josh Anderson scored for the Canadiens, who were coming off a five-day holiday break. Cayden Primeau, son of former Hurricanes captain Keith Primeau, made 26 stops in his first game against Carolina.

Montreal managed just seven shots on goal in the first period and two in the third.

“They block a lot of shots,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “It’s a shame we didn’t get more shots through, but we had good intentions.”

The 23-year-old Svechnikov missed the start of the season with a knee injury. He has six goals and 13 assists in 21 games, including five goals and three assists in his last five games.

“He has got to get on the scoresheet for us to be the team we need to be,” Brind’Amour said.

Fast produced his third and fourth goals of the season in his first two-goal game in more than a year. His first tally of the night came just seconds after he basically whiffed on a close-range shot, but the rebound on Aho’s ensuing shot sent the puck right to Fast’s stick.

“Probably one of the easiest goals I’ve had,” Fast said.

Aho has consecutive four-point games. He has 17 points in the last nine games.

Anderson tied it at 3 on a breakaway 25 seconds into the third period. He has five goals in a five-game stretch for a total of six this season.

Matheson posted his first goal in 15 games and No. 6 on the season on a wraparound on a power play with 3.9 seconds to play in the first, tying it at 2 after the Canadiens allowed the first two goals.


Canadiens: Saturday at Florida.

Hurricanes: Saturday at Toronto to begin a three-game road trip.