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Canadiens begin tough road stretch against Flames

by Jon Lane /

CANADIENS (1-1-0) at FLAMES (1-0-2)


Season series: The Calgary Flames won both meetings with the Montreal Canadiens in 2011-12 and have dominated the overall series at Scotiabank Saddledome, where the Habs haven't won since a 4-2 victory on Jan. 5, 2002.

Big story: The Canadiens begin a stretch of three games in four nights that takes them to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver followed by a visit to the Winnipeg Jets next Tuesday. The Canadiens haven't fared well in Western Canada in recent years; they are 8-18-2-2 in their last 30 games.

While the Flames have earned four out of a possible six points, they blew a three-goal lead in their season opener against the Washington Capitals that led to a shootout loss and saw a two-goal lead evaporate to the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-4 overtime loss that spoiled their home opener.

"We have work to do," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We're not celebrating and we're not happy with where we're at. We should have six points. We're not going to get away from this. We're disappointed but at the same time, we're not living in the past. Today is another day and there's nothing unfortunately we can do about the results. We can only improve our process and that's what we're trying to do."

Hartley announced Tuesday that Joey MacDonald will start his third straight game in goal. Carey Price will be in goal for the Canadiens.

Team Scope:

The Canadiens hit the road off their first win, 4-1 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, knowing that the western swing will be a tough challenge.

"We've got to focus on Calgary first, worry about that game and then you worry about the next game," defenseman Josh Gorges said. "You can't worry about what the outcome is going to be at the end of four games. It's too far ahead to think that way.

"We're not satisfied. I think there's lots of room for improvement, and I think that moving forward on this road trip, we need to keep on building on what we did here and keep getting better."

Flames: The Flames head back to work intent on quickly forgetting the loss to the Canucks that saw them blow a 3-1 third-period lead. On Monday, Hartley held a video meeting with the team before practice to address a couple of mistakes in the Flames' end of the ice that cost them the game.

"You have to turn the page," captain Mark Giordano said. "We take the positives, watch some video on the negatives and the positives, and move ahead. Obviously after games you're frustrated and emotions are high, but today is another day."

Who's hot: Canadiens center Lars Eller has three goals and two assists, and was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week  … Flames rookie Sean Monahan, the sixth player taken in the 2013 NHL Draft, has two goals in three games.

Injury report: Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (jammed wrist) is skating and is expected to back in the lineup. Right wing Brian Gionta (personal) caught up with the team Tuesday and will play. Right wing George Parros is sidelined with a concussion suffered opening night … The Flames are missing forwards Mike Cammalleri (wrist) and Matt Stajan (leg contusion), and defenseman Chris Breen (shoulder).

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