Alexander Radulov leads Montreal Canadiens past Calgary Flames 5-1
Montreal Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec (14) celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames with teammates left wing Daniel Carr (43) and defenceman Zach Redmond (20) during second period NHL hockey action Tuesday, January 24, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.
MONTREAL — Alexander Radulov scored twice to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Flames on Tuesday night to extend Calgary’s losing skid to four games.
Andrew Shaw, Tomas Plekanec and Daniel Carr also scored for Montreal (29-13-7), while Carey Price made 30 saves for the win.
Sam Bennett scored the lone goal for Calgary (24-24-3), which was on the second game of a back-to-back. Chad Johnson stopped 15-of-20 shots in defeat.
Johnson got the start between the pipes after Brian Elliott conceded four goals in a 4-0 losing effort in Toronto on Monday.
Price was solid despite going through a bit of a recent slump. The all-star goaltender had allowed at least three goals in nine of his previous 11 starts coming into Tuesday’s contest.
But Price was on his game from the get-go. He even added an assist on Montreal’s fourth goal — his first of the season. The Canadiens goalie came one second away from recording his 39th career shutout but was beaten by Bennett at 19:59 of the third period.
It was another slow start for the Flames, which have now conceded the first goal in nine straight games.
Despite getting several good shots on Price to start the encounter, the Flames fell behind at 19:18 of the first period when Shaw ripped one past Johnson for his seventh of the season.
Calgary dominated the Canadiens 31-20 in shots but Montreal made their opportunities count.
The home side doubled its lead with a short-handed goal at 4:53 of the second period. After Johnny Gaudreau bobbled the puck at Montreal’s blue line, Plekanec scooped it up and skated the length of the ice, beating Johnson five-hole for his first goal in six games.
The Canadiens made it 3-0 at 9:02 of the second period. While playing with the man advantage, Nathan Beaulieu looked to be taking a shot but instead fed Radulov with a crisp cross-ice pass. With Johnson out of position, Radulov made no mistake for his 11th of the year.
Montreal was without forward Alex Galchenyuk, who re-injured his right knee on Saturday. Michel Therrien shuffled his lines and Daniel Carr filled the remaining hole on the fourth line.
Carr thanked his head coach with his second goal of the season, scored at 8:02 of the third period.
Radulov made it 5-0 with a power-play marker with 3:53 remaining in the game.
Montreal finished 2 for 3 with the man advantage and is now 12 for its last 31 with the extra skater.
Notes: The Flames are now 3-4-3 this season in the second game of a back-to-back. … Gaudreau has not scored in 11 games – the longest drought of his career.
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press
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