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Flames stopped by Habs

Flames snap goal drought but it's too little, too late

by AARON VICKERS @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

MONTREAL -- It was a rough result in La Belle province.
 
Alex Radulov had two goals and Carey Price made 30 saves as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 at Bell Centre on Tuesday, Calgary's fourth consecutive loss and third straight by four goals.

"We were pathetic," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. 
 
"It was a pathetic display. 
 
"No biteback. 
 
"No kickback. 
 
"Accept it. Our top guys didn't do anything. We need somebody to step up."
 
Sam Bennett scored at 19:58 of the third period, and Chad Johnson made 15 saves for the Flames (24-24-3), who have lost the first two of a three-game road trip leading into the NHL All-Star Break. Calgary, who is 1-5-1 in the past seven games, was shut out 4-0 by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. 
 
The Flames hold a one-point lead on the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks for the second wild card entry into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Kings and Canucks each have three games at hand. 
 
"We're out of the playoffs now as far as where we were," Gulutzan said. "We sat there for 45 days. Are we going to start to play now? 
 
"Now when it gets easy? Is that when we play? 
 
"That's the concern.
 
"What bugs me most is we play when it's easy. We play when it's easy. We've got that mentality. We've got to fight out of it."
 
Andrew Shaw, Tomas Plekanec, and Daniel Carr also scored for the Canadiens.
 
The Flames surrendered the first goal for the ninth straight game when Shaw shot by a screened Johnson with 42.4 seconds remaining in the opening period.
 
"It's the same old story," Gulutzan said. 
 
"We had the better chances in the first 15 (minutes) of the first. We extend ourselves on a minute shift. Got our fourth line out there. They decide to take one more crack at it, because they've scored so many goals. They all come off and let them fly into our zone and catch the other line a little off guard. 
 
"That's what happened on the first goal."
 
Plekanec doubled the lead 4:53 into the second period with a shorthanded goal through Johnson's legs on a 2-on-1 created when Johnny Gaudreau fanned on a pass inside Montreal's blue line. It's the second time in as many games the Flames have surrendered a shorthanded goal.
 
"We had our windows to get back in. We spot them one," Gulutzan said. 
 
"Johnny bobbles the puck at the blueline. Turns it over. It's 2-0. We're on a power play. 1-0 in a road game on a power play we get a 5-on-3. Broken stick. Can't even muster a shot. These are things we work on. It's not like we have a bad power play. We're running at 20 percent. Top third in the league. 
 
"But for some reason mentally we just couldn't get a shot to the net."
 
The Canadiens extended the lead to 3-0 on the power play when Radulov cradled Nathan Beaulieu's cross-ice pass and fired by Johnson at 9:02.
 
Price stopped Lance Bouma's redirect of Matt Stajan's centering pass six minutes into the third, and made a left pad save on Kris Versteeg at 7:02.
 
Carr extended Montreal's lead to 4-0 with a one-timer by Johnson's glove at 8:08.
 
The Flames have trailed 4-0 in each of the past four games.
 
"You've got to man up," Gulutzan said. 
 
"You've just got to man up. 
 
"We play well, one bad thing happens and we crumple. We crumple. Everyone talks about our starts … our starts have been good. One little shot, it goes in, we crumple. We just crumple. 
 
"We have no resolve to stay with it. We've got to look internally here at ourselves. Everybody. Everybody in the organization. And figure out how we're going to pull ourselves out because the league doesn't feel sorry for you."
 
Radulov scored again on the power play to make it 5-0 at 16:07.
 
Bennett scored his first goal in 13 games on the power play with 1.1 second remaining in regulation to spoil Price's shutout bid.

NOTES: Troy Brouwer and Alex Chiasson led the Flames with four hits each. TJ Brodie led the team with five blocked shots. Micheal Ferland returned to the lineup in place of Freddie Hamilton and played 8:09. He was a healthy scratch against the Maple Leafs. Jyrki Jokiapakka was scratched for a second straight game.  
 
UP NEXT: The Flames complete a three-game road trip at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (5:30 p.m. MT; SNW, SN960).

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