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game recap

Flames win to tighten race with Canadiens in North Division

Sweep back-to-back games with third of series on Monday

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Gaudreau's pinpoint snipe

MTL@CGY: Gaudreau rips puck top shelf late in 1st

Johnny Gaudreau takes Matthew Tkachuk's long pass inside the neutral zone, then picks the top corner to beat Cayden Primeau and tie the game

  • 00:42 •

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames defeated the Montreal Canadiens for a second night in a row, 5-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Johnny Gaudreau scored twice, and Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves for the Flames (21-23-3), who defeated the Canadiens 4-2 here Friday.

Calgary moved four points behind Montreal for fourth place in the seven-team Scotia North Division. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Every game is important the remainder of the season here, especially against this team," Gaudreau said.

"If we take care of ourselves and we keep playing the way we've been playing the past few games, I think we've got a real good shot to make a push here."
 
Tyler Toffoli and Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens (20-17-9), who have lost four of five. Cayden Primeau made 29 saves in his first NHL start of the season and third of his career.

"Every time you lose a game it's frustrating," Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry said. "I can't tell you an exact number on a scale, but it is frustrating knowing the situation we're in and the way we're playing. We have to find a way to battle this out together."

Video: MTL@CGY: Mangiapane sets up Gaudreau's second goal

Calgary has won five of seven after losing eight of nine.

"I think guys are upbeat, but realistically we still know we're four points out of a playoff spot and they have a game [in] hand on us," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "We know where we are. We've got to try to run the table here and we've got to go one game at a time."

The teams end this three-game series here Monday.

"It's that time of the year," Toffoli said. "I think everybody knew that it was going to come down to certain teams fighting for positions. It's not just us fighting for position. It's teams fighting for first and second and third. We've got to find a way. We've got to regroup. Monday is a big match."

Suzuki put Montreal up 1-0 at 11:32 of the first period on a second rebound attempt.

Gaudreau tied it 1-1 at 19:29 when he shot over Primeau's glove after being sprung on a partial breakaway by Matthew Tkachuk's backhand pass from inside Calgary's blue line.

Video: MTL@CGY: Lucic gives Flames lead after face-off win

Milan Lucic put the Flames up 2-1 at 2:14 of the second period with a shot through traffic after a Derek Ryan face-off win. The goal came after Artturi Lehkonen hit the crossbar at 1:18 for the Canadiens.

Gaudreau one-timed a cross-crease pass from Andrew Mangiapane for a 3-1 lead at 5:31.

"He's going against two defenders that are 6-4, 6-5, 215, 220," Gaudreau said of Mangiapane. "The little guy (5-foot-10, 184 pounds) found a way to get out of the corner there and make a beautiful pass for me to pretty much have an empty-net tap-in. It was a great play by him."

Gaudreau has scored nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

Toffoli scored for a third straight game on a one-touch backdoor pass from Corey Perry to make it 3-2 at 18:03. The goal came on Montreal's third consecutive power play of the period.

Brett Ritchie made it 4-2 at 4:41 of the third period on a setup by Ryan, and Rasmus Andersson scored into an empty net from the defensive zone at 17:31 for the 5-2 final.

"We win the next game and it's six points (up on Calgary) and we go from there," Petry said. "We control our own destiny. Our fate is in our hands. We play and we execute and get the wins, it's in our hands."

NOTES: Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin missed his second straight game because of a non-COVID-19 related illness. Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar (lower body) did not play the final 15:19 and is day to day. ... Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (undisclosed) was injured at 4:14 of the first period and did not return. ... Gustafsson had two assists for the defenseman's first points with Montreal in his second game since he was traded by the Philadelphia Flyers on April 12.

Video: Gaudreau's two goals propel Flames past Canadiens

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