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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Habs

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Historically, the visiting team at NHL outdoor games have walked away with two points. The Calgary Flames were able to buck the trend on Sunday, handing the Montreal Canadiens a 4-0 loss at the Heritage Classic.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 39 shots in his fourth shutout of the season while eight Flames recorded points in the victory.

The first period was all Flames with Calgary dominating the play and outshooting the Habs 19-8. Rene Bourque scored the first goal at McMahon Stadium when he was able to to tip an Alex Tanguay pass into the net at 8:09 of the first period.

Despite improved play by the Habs in the second period, the Flames were able to build on their lead with a shorthanded goal from Anton Babchuk and an even strength marker from Bourque.

Alex Tanguay added the Flames fourth goal of the night in the third period while the Flames were on the power play.

After a lackluster first period, the Canadiens pushed back in the second period. In the opening stanza, they managed just eight shots on net. In the second, the blasted 20 at Kiprusoff. They were able to sustain a forecheck and clamped down defensively. Their improved play didn't deter the Flames, however.

Calgary kept up their game plan and managed to forge ahead by scoring two more goals in the second period. They weathered the storm defensively by trying to clog up shooting lanes and throwing their bodies in front of shots. They were able to capitalize offensively when they were given the opportunity. The Flames ability to withstand the press of the Habs was what won them the game and kept them in the Western Conference playoff picture.

With the Habs aiming to get back in the game in the second period, the Flames tried to stay as responsible defensively as they could but Jay Bouwmeester was nailed with an interference call in his own zone, handing Montreal their first power play of the game. It looked like the perfect opportunity for the visitors to tie the game up but the Flames had other ideas.

Babchuk gave his club a two-goal lead with just 15 seconds remaining in Bouwmeester's minor with a howitzer of a shot. Curtis Glencross battled with the Habs defence in the corner before the winger was able to gain possession of the puck. He sent a quick pass back to Babchuk, who had snuck into the zone unattended, and the blueliner let a shot go with authority.

Right from the time the puck dropped, Bourque was on fire. The winger was all over the Canadiens in all three zones for the entire contest. He made intelligent plays, was in hard on the forecheck and his transistion game was the best it has been all season.

The Lac La Biche native needed just two goals to reach 100 in his career and he managed to do that by the 35:00 mark. His first came in the form of a power play marker just 8:00 into the game. His second of the night blew past Price at 14:46 of the middle frame, an even strength tally. Sunday marked Bourque's first two-goal outing since Oct. 24, 2010.

Overall, Bourque had 11 shots on net, two points and +1 rating in 15:23 of ice time.

Matt Stajan needs five more goals to reach 100 in his career.

Miikka Kiprusoff needs 13 more wins to pass Mike Vernon (262) for 1st on the all-time wins list for the Flames.

Jay Bouwmeester played in his 485 consecutive game, making him the NHL's leading ironman.

"It was pretty cold in the first ... those guys had it set pretty nice. It was warm and they were nice enough to give me some room to sit down. It helped a little bit." - Kiprusoff on heading to the heated bench during TV timeouts

Tuesday, Feb.22  vs. Boston
  7:00 PM MT (Sportsnet Calgary, FAN 960)

The Flames continue their hunt for a playoff position against a rare visitor, the Boston Bruins. This is the only meeting between the two clubs this season. Boston is currently sitting in third in the Eastern Conference with a 33-19-7 record.

The last time the two met was on Mar. 27, 2010 when the Bruins defeated the Flames 5-0.

Game time is 7:00 PM MT on Sportsnet Calgary and The FAN 960.
19 Shots on goal for the Flames after the first period. By comparison, the Habs had eight.
100 Career goals for Bourque. He has 20 on the season.
41,022 Attendance at McMahon Stadium.
4 Blocked shots by Robyn Regehr, a team high.
70 Points on the season for the Flames. They now sit in 6th in the Western Conference.

1st Star
Miikka Kiprusoff
39 39 0 60:00 1.00
2nd Star
Rene Bourque
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 3
3rd Star
Alex Tanguay
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 0 2

Carey Price
37 33 4 60:00 .891

Miikka Kiprusoff
39 39 0 60:00 1.00

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