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Preview: Flames @ Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (30-35-6) at CANADIENS (33-33-6)

TV: SN, RDS, NHL.TV (5:00 PM MT)

Season series: The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Calgary Flames 6-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 30. Montreal forward Dale Weise, who now plays for the Chicago Blackhawks, had a hat trick. Forward Paul Byron, who was claimed on waivers by the Canadiens from Calgary on Oct. 6, had a short-handed goal and an assist against his former team. Forwards Jiri Hudler, who now plays for the Florida Panthers, and Josh Jooris scored for the Flames.

Flames team scope: Goalie Niklas Backstrom will start his first NHL game in more than a year. Backstrom was acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 29. The 38-year-old went 194-142-50 with a 2.48 GAA and .915 save percentage in 10 seasons with Minnesota. He is the Wild's all-time leader among goalies in games played (409), wins (194) and shutouts (28). But Backstrom has not played since Jan. 13, 2015, when he lost his eighth in a row. He was relegated to third on Minnesota's depth chart after the Wild acquired Devan Dubnyk the following day. "It's been a long way and to even just play that one game it's going to make all the sacrifices worth it," Backstrom told the Flames' website. "It's going to be fun for sure, but on the other hand you want to do everything you can to play as well as you can and that's the biggest thing and that's what I've got to focus on to be as sharp as I can be."

Canadiens team scope: Montreal allowed three shorthanded goals and went 0-for-4 on the power play in a 5-0 loss at the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. It was the first time the Canadiens have allowed three shorthanded goals in a game. With P.K. Subban among four Montreal defencemen sidelined by injury, coach Michel Therrien went with four forwards and one defenceman on the power play. "We're missing a few people on the back end and we went with four forwards but, obviously, it wasn't the right thing to do," Therrien told the Montreal Gazette. Montreal, which had allowed two shorthanded goals in a game 18 times previously, is the first NHL team to give up three in a game since the Carolina Hurricanes in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on April 10, 2010. Center Tomas Plekanec played the point. "They didn't score three shorthanded goals because we had four forwards; they scored because we made mistakes," Plekanec said. Goalie Mike Condon will start after Ben Scrivens played against Ottawa.

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