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5 THINGS - FLAMES @ CANADIENS

The Flames kick off a three-game Canadian road swing on Monday in Montreal

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (25-17-5: 55 pts.) at CANADIENS (19-20-7: 45 pts.)

5:00 p.m. MT | TV: Sportsnet West | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

2019-20 season series: 0-0-1

Flames road record: 12-10-2

Canadiens home record: 8-11-4

 

 

Current Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau (38)

Goals - Elias Lindholm (20)

Canadiens:

Points - Tomas Tatar (39)

Goals - Tatar (16)

 

Special Teams:

Flames

PP- 19.4% (17th) / PK: 82.9% (6th)

Canadiens

PP: 21.4% (10th) / PK: 77.9% (23rd)

 

Advanced Stats:

Flames:    

Shot Attempts: 50.5% (12th)

Goals For/Per Game Played: 2.70 (23rd)

Canadiens:

Shot Attempts: 52.8% (2nd)

Goals For/Per Game Played: 3.07 (13th)

 

Video: All the details for tonight's Habs and Flames game.

 

1. US

2020 is off to a tremendous start for the Flames.

On Saturday night, the club picked up their fifth straight win to start the new decade, downing their provincial rivals 4-3 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Elias Lindholm (2), Johnny Gaudreau , and Dillon Dube scored and Cam Talbot , who got his third consecutive start on Saturday, made 29 saves in the victory. The win gives them a 25-17-5 record and elevated them to first in the tight race in Pacific Division.

 

Video: Condensed Game: Oilers @ Flames

 

"We had a solid night up and down our lineup," Talbot assessed. "Gio and Brods did a heck of a job on their top line, then Hanny and Hammer did a great job as well, so I mean our back-end was extremely solid and we had a lot of support from the forwards coming back to try and take away a lot of their odd-man opportunities after that first period.

"So, I thought once we started to do that we established our game and, like I said, we just got so many contributions from everyone in this room."

Lindholm's pair of goals brings him to 20 on the season, which leads the Flames and ties him for 10th among all NHL skaters.

"I think if you can help the team win scoring goals or anyway else it's always fun to be a part of," he said post-game. "It's always fun to score goals and hopefully I can continue." 

The Flames will look to keep that momentum going in Montreal on Tuesday evening, which is the start of a three-game Canadian road swing for the team. Following their battle against the Habs, they will make stops in Toronto on Thursday and Ottawa on Saturday.

 

Video: "Always look forward to playing in Montreal."

 

2. THEM

Montreal snapped an eight-game losing skid on Saturday when they were able to pick up a 2-1 win over the Senators in Ottawa. Nick Suzuki opened the scoring in the nation's capital and Ilya Kovalchuk scored the game-winner with under a minute remaining in overtime.

"We talked about it before the third period: play to win the game, not to sit back and wait for what they're going to do. But we took so many penalties. Our PKers did an unbelievable job, and (Carey Price) stood on his head," Kovalchuk told the team's website. "Finally, we got a win, so it's good. It's going to build some momentum and some confidence, for sure."

The goal was Kovalchuk's first with Montreal. The veteran forward played 17 games with the LA Kings this season before being placed on unconditional waivers and being released from the organization in December. The Habs felt his presence could bolster their lineup and signed him to a one-year, two-way deal on Jan. 3.

"It was a good feeling for everyone. His teammates were happy for him. He's a guy we wanted to have to help us given the circumstances," head coach Claude Julien told MontrealCanadiens.com after the win in Ottawa. "On top of his goal, he made nice plays and his shifts were short. I find he fits in well with what we want him to be doing."

 

3. US vs. THEM

Monday's game will be the second and final meeting between the two clubs in the regular season. The Habs edged the Flames in Calgary last month, winning 4-3 in overtime after Max Domi was able to beat David Rittich with 1:08 remaining in the extra frame.

 

Video: Condensed Game: Canadiens @ Flames

 

The Flames received goals from Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, and Oliver Kylington in the setback. In addition to Domi's tally, the Canadiens also had Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, and Nick Suzuki find the back of the net. Rittich made 39 saves for Calgary while Montreal's Carey Price stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: Sean Monahan notched an assist on Saturday and has now passed Paul Reinhart (398 points) for the 14th most points in Calgary franchise history at 399. Monahan needs just one point to become the 14th player in Calgary history to reach 400 career points as a member of the Flames ... THAT: Elias Lindholm notched his 20th goal of the season on Saturday, giving him a 20-goal season for just the second time in his career and for the second time in as many seasons. Lindholm didn't notch his 20th goal last season until Mar. 12 and finished the 2018-19 campaign with 27 goals. The 25-year-old also notched his 11th game-winning-goal as a member of the Flames on Saturday - the third most game-winning-goals by a player in their first two seasons as a member of the Flames. THE OTHER: This season, the Flames have a record of 11-5-2 against Eastern Conference opponents and a record of 6-0-1 against the Atlantic Division.

 

Video: "I think everyone gets up to play in this building."

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames: Johnny Gaudreau

Like his team, Johnny Gaudreau is off to a hot start this year. In 2020, he's registered 7 points in 5 games and is coming off a strong performance against the Oilers on Saturday night. In the victory over Edmonton, Gaudreau picked up a goal and an assist, bringing him up to 38 points on the year. With 424 career points, he is now tied with Jim Peplinski for the 11th-most points in Calgary's franchise history.

 

Canadiens: Nick Suzuki

The 20-year-old is settling in nicely with Montreal, playing in 46 games with the Habs this season. Thus far, he has 9 goals and 27 points and heads into Monday's match-up with 4 points in his last 5 skates. The forward, who was selected 13th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights, was acquired by Montreal in the trade that sent Max Pacioretty to Nevada.

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