MONTREAL (AP) _ Pierre Dagenais and the Montreal Canadiens shared the common
purpose of getting their game back on track.
Dagenais scored twice and backup goalie Mathieu Garon made 19 saves Thursday
night as Montreal ended a season-high four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win
over the Calgary Flames.
Patrice Brisebois and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the Canadiens, who
ended Calgary's third four-game winning streak this season.
``Before the game, all the guys talked together. We all wanted to win this
game,'' said Dagenais, who hadn't scored in over a month and was a healthy
scratch in the previous two games.
Jarome Iginla scored his 30th goal for the Flames, who fell short of their
first five-game winning streak in seven years.
``We got outworked. We got outcompeted,'' Iginla said. ``We knew they'd be a
desperate club and it was something that you have to give them credit. They
came out and they played a strong game.''
Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who got into two separate stick altercations
with team scoring leader Mike Ribeiro at practice Wednesday, heard a smattering
of boos from the sellout Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 each time he touched the
``If you ask me if it makes me feel comfortable out there, no, it doesn't,''
said Koivu, who missed most of the 2001-02 season battling cancer. ``This crowd
that we have here can be a sixth player, a huge advantage for us against other
teams, and right now, battling for a playoff spot, we can use all the help that
we can get.''
Montreal rookie Michael Ryder and defenseman Andrei Markov each assisted on
goals by Dagenais and Brisebois in the second period.
Dagenais, who entered with one assist in nine games since scoring his last
goal on Jan. 17, put the Canadiens up 2-1 in the second period when he swatted
a rebound past goalie Miikka Kiprusoff after Kiprusoff made a pad save on
Brisebois scored his third of the season on a power play when he beat
Kiprusoff with a slap shot from the point.
Garon, rarely used behind Jose Theodore, made a sensational glove save on
Flames defenseman Denis Gauthier midway through the third period. He also
stopped Iginla twice on the same play.
``Sometimes I feel rusty, but tonight I felt good,'' Garon said. ``I felt
during the warmup that I was sharp and I knew the game would be easier for me
to start. Sometimes it's kind of hard, the first 10 minutes, but tonight I felt
Dagenais scored his second of the game into an empty net with 12.4 seconds
Garon has won each of his four starts since Dec. 23. Theodore has lost four
straight starts and eight of his last 10.
Kiprusoff stopped 28 shots, losing for the first time in four starts (3-1)
since returning from a knee injury that kept him out 19 games.
The Canadiens earned their first points since the All-Star break (1-4-0).
Sundstrom opened the scoring during a delayed penalty seven minutes into the
game when he converted Steve Begin's pass for his eighth of the season.
Iginla reached 30 goals for the fourth straight season when he tied it
during a 4-on-4 situation. Iginla skated past Brisebois and drove a slap shot
over Garon's right shoulder into the top of the net on an unassisted effort.
``It is a good feeling,'' Iginla said of the milestone. ``I'm thankful to be
in the NHL. I'm happy that I've been able to get 30 goals again. Hopefully I'll
be able to keep going.''