Canadiens' goal is to cool off Flames
Tuesday, 11.10.2009 / 7:30 PM
FLAMES (10-4-1) at CANADIENS (8-9-0)
Calgary 6-3-1; Montreal 6-4-0
The second and final meeting of the season; the Canadiens and Flames faced off on Oct. 6 in Calgary. Tied 3-3 going into the third period, Calgary's Staffan Kronwall was able to solve Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak for a 4-3 win. It was the Swedish defenseman's first NHL goal.
The Flames will be looking for their fourth straight win when they head into Montreal on Tuesday, while the Canadiens have been alternating between shootout wins and regulation losses in their last four.
Backed by 32-save performance by Miikka Kiprusoff, the Flames held off the Rangers in a 3-1 win on Saturday. Calgary had previously lost two straight games at home. Left wing Nigel Dawes assisted on all three Flames goals against his former New York team. However, Calgary has lost forward Curtis Glencross to a three-game suspension for delivering a high hit to an unsuspecting Chris Drury in the first period.
"I thought it was one of our best games of the year. The difference is Kiprusoff," Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. "We hold them to six scoring chances, I think we had 16 or 17."
Their 3-1 loss to the Lightning on Saturday dropped the Habs to below .500 on the season. Right wing Brian Gionta
scored Montreal's lone goal on the power play, while Carey Price
made 18 saves. Price, who has seen his share of struggles this season, has a 3-7-0 record, while Halak has a record of 5-2-0. Price did, however, post a 42-save night, some of them brilliant, in his win over the Bruins on Thursday.
"It was an inconsistent effort the first half of the game," Gionta said. "I thought our second period was good, the start of the first was all right but we've given up goals late in periods, two of them tonight. That hurts the momentum and we've got to figure out a way to play better for 60 (minutes)."
Currently riding a three-game point streak, Jarome Iginla has started to heat things up. The right wing was the NHL first star for the week ending Nov. 8 and has six points in his last five games. Left wing Rene Bourque leads the Flames with 17 points and had a goal Saturday against the Rangers.
and Tomas Plekanec
still lead the Canadiens with 14 points, while Gionta and Scott Gomez
follow with 11 points. Glen Metropolit, who has three points in his last five games, obliterated all four targets in the Habs' shootout competition at practice on Sunday and while Cammalleri had also connected on all four shots, Metropolit's slapshots blew Cammalleri out of the water.
Montreal's injured list far outweighs that of Calgary, which is 100 percent healthy. Habs right wing Georges Laraque was put on the IR with back issues, joining forward Matt D'Agostini (concussion) and defensemen Ryan O’Byrne (knee), Hal Gill
(hairline fracture of his foot) and Andrei Markov
(severed ankle tendons).
The Canadiens will be sporting their throwback red and green uniforms from the 1910-11 season on Tuesday. Center Newsy Lalonde and right wing Didier Pitre tied for the lead in points that season with 19 in 16 games. Georges Vézina, in his first NHL season, had a GAA of 3.80 and a record of 8-8-0.
With a healthy squad and a hot captain, the Flames have an excellent chance of extending that winning streak against a Montreal team still searching for consistency.