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Pair of shorthanded goals helps Flames rout Habs

by Brian Compton / NHL.com
Special teams made it a special night for Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan.

Matthew Lombardi had a shorthanded goal and two assists, and Dustin Boyd scored a shorthanded tally of his own as the Flames coasted to a 6-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens in front of 19,289 at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Monday.

The victory was No. 657 for Keenan, tying him with Pat Quinn for fourth on the NHL's all-time list. It also snapped Calgary's four-game losing streak and extended its lead in the Northwest Division to nine points.

"I think we're real happy with the way we played," Lombardi said. "It was the kind of game we were looking for. We had a lot of energy and we played a full 60 minutes.

Montreal appeared to be in decent shape after the first 20 minutes, as they held a 2-1 lead at the intermission. Matt D'Agostini gave the club a 1-0 lead when he tallied his 10th goal of the season at the 10:17 mark. Mike Cammalleri continued his torrid scoring pace when he tied the game at 12:55, but the Canadiens reclaimed the lead when Tomas Plekanec beat Kiprusoff with 1:19 remaining.

From there, though, it was all Calgary. The Flames outshot Montreal 20-4 in the second period and scored three times in a span of 7:07. Lombardi tied the game with a shorthanded goal at 11:36, as he stole the puck from Sergei Kostitsyn and beat Jaroslav Halak on a breakaway for his sixth goal of the season.

Dion Phaneuf gave the Flames their first lead of the night just 32 seconds later. With the teams back at even strength, Phaneuf took a shot that redirected off a Canadiens' player and past Halak to make it 3-2.

"Our penalty killers were huge for us tonight," Phaneuf said. "They work hard every night, night in, night out, blocking shots and for them to be rewarded offensively, it was good to see."

Boyd put Calgary up by a pair when he scored a shorthanded goal of his own at 18:43. After Robyn Regehr was whistled for kneeing, Eric Nystrom's pretty feed sprung Boyd on a breakaway, and the latter beat Halak to make it 4-2.

"It was a big game tonight," said Boyd, who has five goals against the Eastern Conference this season. "They're a great team. We had to make sure we were coming out firing on all cylinders."

It certainly was a disheartening period for the Canadiens, who have lost their last six games on the road. But Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau isn't ready to push the panic button just yet. The Canadiens continue their five-game road trip on Wednesday night at Edmonton.

"If we get to the 82nd game and we're not in the playoffs I think for me that's going to be rock bottom," said Carbonneau, whose team stands at 29-19-6. "Right now we still have games, still have time to come back and turn this thing around."

In order to do that, the Canadiens are going to have to play with more confidence. Monday's loss sparked a 30-minute, players-only meeting.

"It's got to come between the ears," Habs defenseman Mike Komisarek said. "You've got to have the mental toughness. We're a fragile team, we just need to build on any momentum that we get whether it's one shift, one period, one game, and it's going to take everyone."

Kiprusoff was solid in the third, as he stopped all 11 shots he faced en route to his 31st win of the season. Rene Bourque made it a 5-2 game with his 18th goal of the season at 6:57 before David Moss put the contest away with a power-play goal just under five minutes later.

 
 
"We were just trying to pressure the puck, especially when the forward has his back to us," Bourque said. "We got two bounces tonight. Our PK's been great all year, and it won us a game tonight."

The Flames begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday night at Anaheim. They'll also visit Los Angeles on Thursday before finishing up on Saturday at Phoenix. Boyd is hoping Monday's win was just the confidence booster the team was looking for.

"We knew they had a big PP, and if we could chip in on the penalty kill, why not?" Boyd said. "The last couple of games, we hadn't done what we wanted. This was definitely an important game before that road trip. We had to make sure we were ready."

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.



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