After opening their season in model with a formidable six-game highway journey, the Montreal Canadiens regarded simply as snug on dwelling ice Thursday night time.
Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber, Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli scored because the Canadiens rolled to a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames of their dwelling opener at Bell Centre.
“Every little thing is simply clicking fairly good,” mentioned Montreal ahead Jesperi Kotkaniemi. “It is the sensation. Every little thing is simply feeling proper for the time being.”
Calgary’s Milan Lucic ended Carey Value’s shutout bid with 78 seconds left within the third interval. Rasmus Andersson added a second power-play aim for the Flames with 22.7 seconds to play.
It was the primary of 9 conferences this 12 months between the North Division groups.
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The Canadiens regarded contemporary however a tad scattered now and again after returning to recreation motion for the primary time since Saturday’s 5-2 win in Vancouver. The Flames, coming off a 4-3 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, additionally had some early zip however an early Juuso Valimaki hooking name proved expensive.
With the penalty winding down, Kotkaniemi discovered Corey Perry stationed by the aspect of the crease. Perry made a deft no-look backpass to Gallagher, who one-timed it in at 10:07.
The help left the veteran Perry, who signed a one-year cope with the Canadiens final month, only one level shy of the 800-mark for his profession.
The little issues
One other Montreal power-play aim made it 2-0 at 15:39. Weber fired a shot from inside the purpose that was going broad however deflected off Valimaki’s stick and left Calgary netminder David Rittich frozen.
“Simply little issues, little breakdowns value us a pair targets there,” mentioned Flames defenceman Mark Giordano. “I assumed from there on we began taking manner too many dangers by way of the impartial zone and towards a good-structured group, they are going to make you pay.”
Kotkaniemi flashed his pace halfway by way of the second interval to arrange a 2-on-1 break. His snapshot was stopped however Anderson swatted the chest-high rebound into the web at 8:21.
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Value, in the meantime, was regular when referred to as upon. The Flames had some possibilities however could not ship any sustained strain.
Montreal had all 4 strains rolling and its defensive pairs have been regular too.
“It is undoubtedly a luxurious, it is undoubtedly one thing that clearly each coach likes to have,” Canadiens head coach Claude Julien mentioned of group depth. “Proper now we have that and for probably the most half we’re a fairly wholesome hockey membership. So hopefully we keep that manner.”
Calgary had the person benefit for the primary time late within the second interval however Toffoli put the sport out of attain with a short-handed aim at 19:35. It was his team-leading sixth aim of the season.
Calgary outshot Montreal 25-21.
“I feel we have been very opportunistic tonight,” Weber mentioned. “I do not suppose that was our greatest effort by any means. I feel we have numerous room to enhance right here.
“That is a great signal clearly as a result of we’re enjoying properly sufficient to win and we’re capitalizing.”
The Flames (2-3-1) will proceed their five-game highway journey with one other matchup towards Montreal on Saturday night time.
Entrance-line staff launched the Montreal gamers earlier than the sport. The ultimate introduction was made by NFL lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who obtained his medical diploma from McGill College in 2018.
Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of the soccer season to assist battle the COVID-19 pandemic, has been working at a Montreal long-term care facility.
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