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Battle between Elliott and Price key storyline to Thursday's tilt

by TY PILSON @typilson /

It's hardly a mystery and you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out.

The Flames and Habs enter tonight's tilt at the Scotiabank Saddledome riding impressive winning streaks of seven and six games, respectively.

The biggest reason for those runs - the two masked bandits who will standing at either end of the ice tonight.

It's no surprise that as Brian Elliott and Carey Price have rounded their games back into form, both their teams started piling up points.

Among goalies who have played at least six games since Feb. 20, Price, in seven games, is second in the NHL with a .953 save percentage and the best goals-against average at a paltry 1.26.

In six games, Elliott is fourth in both save percentage (.931) and GAA (2.13).

"Moose has been great for us," nodded Flames captain Mark Giordano. "I think he's been making those huge saves at critical times in games for a long time now. And, I mean, Carey Price has been the best goalie in the world for how many years now? He's at the top of his game, we know that, we've seen some clips on him here in the last little bit where he hasn't given up much, so it's going to be a battle.

"But, again, we just want to play well defensively against these guys and help out Moose as much as we can, let him see pucks because they're a fast team and we can't feed into their transition."

Defenceman Dougie Hamilton has had a front-row seat to watch Elliott's exploits of late and chalks it up to one word: confidence.

"He's confident and I think when you're playing and in a rhythm and stuff you get confident," said Hamilton. "He obviously has that right now. He's been huge for us and the biggest reason we've been winning."

The first question during Glen Gulutzan's post-practice media scrum Thursday morning came from a visiting Montreal journalist who asked about the stellar play of his goalie.

"He's been really good and he's found his groove," said Gulutzan. "I thought, from our perspective, he's always worked hard, all year, he's a great pro and he's getting rewarded for all that work."


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