The Montreal Canadiens still have a chance to avoid a dubious distinction the storied franchise has never suffered.
Erik Cole may just help them avoid it.
The former Carolina forward looks to stay hot as he and the Canadiens visit Raleigh for the Hurricanes' home finale Thursday night.
Montreal (30-35-15) has not finished at the bottom of a conference since conferences were introduced in 1974. Its most recent last-place finish in anything bigger than a division came in 1939-40, when the club placed last in the seven-team NHL.
With two games remaining, the Canadiens remain in the Eastern Conference cellar, but they're just two points behind the New York Islanders and three back of Toronto. They host the Maple Leafs in Saturday's season finale.
The Habs have lost six straight on the road, but they snapped a four-game overall skid with Wednesday's 5-2 home victory over Tampa Bay, with Cole getting a pair of second-period goals.
"It was a lot of fun," said linemate Max Pacioretty,...