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Weise hat trick lifts Canadiens past Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- A first for Dale Weise helped the Montreal Canadiens end their two-game slide.

Weise scored the first hat trick of his NHL career to lift the Canadiens to a 6-2 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Paul Byron had a goal and an assist, and Nathan Beaulieu and Devante Smith-Pelly also scored for Montreal (10-2-0), which won for the first time in the finale of its three-game road trip through Western Canada.

Canadiens rookie goalie Mike Condon made 30 saves.

"We needed a win tonight and we got a complete effort," Weise said. "We had a lot of guys who chipped in, [Condon] was amazing. It feels good to get this one because we've played so poorly."

Jiri Hudler and Josh Jooris scored for Calgary (2-8-1), which has lost four straight (0-3-1) and has one win in its past nine games.

"Right now, we've got to find our game, find some more confidence," Flames defenseman Kris Russell said. "That was our strong suit last year. But it comes down to individual efforts. I've got to be better and don't want to look past that. I'm on for way too many goals and not helping my team. I think a lot of us have to look in the mirror, especially myself."

Weise broke a 2-2 tie with his second goal at 6:57 of the second period. After a failed clearing attempt from the Flames, he picked up the puck and fired a shot from the slot through a screen and over the glove of Calgary goaltender Joni Ortio.

"I knew when I shot it he didn't really see it either," Weise said. "I knew that one was in."

Smith-Pelly extended Montreal's lead to two at 12:22, one-timing a pass from Byron between Ortio's legs.

"I saw him out of the corner of my eye," Byron said. "He was calling for it pretty early, so I knew I didn't even really have to look that much. I just fired it over to him."

The Canadiens, who gave up a 3-1 third-period lead in a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, continued to press in the third.

With Montreal forward Lars Eller serving a slashing minor, Byron grabbed a clearing attempt that skipped over the stick of Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, skated in on a breakaway and slid the puck by the pad of Ortio to extend the lead to three at 3:52.

"It felt really good, not just because [the Flames] waived me, but just to get the season started the right way and get this team two points," said Byron, who has played two games with the Canadiens after being claimed off waivers Oct. 6, one day before the regular season started. "I thought it was a big goal in the game. They're on a power play. If they score, it changes the momentum around.

"I owe a lot to this organization. They treated me extremely well. When I got waived, the owner called me and wished me the best. That just speaks to the class they have here."

Weise scored again with 8:16 remaining, picking up a pass from Montreal forward Tomas Fleischmann in front of the net and firing it by Ortio to put Montreal up 6-2 and complete his hat trick.

"It feels good," Weise said. "You know what? I've had so many chances, empty nets that I've missed that I just shouldn't miss. Last night, I had an empty net I missed to make it 4-2. That probably changes the game. I really wanted to come out tonight and contribute."

Weise opened the scoring 5:20 into the game, stepping into a pass from Fleischmann with a shot that beat Ortio five-hole.

The goal came between Calgary's two best chances to score in the first.

Sean Monahan hit the post 3:55 into the game, and Johnny Gaudreau, darting through the Canadiens zone, was denied on his wraparound attempt by the pad of Condon at 9:46. The save was one of 15 in the period for the Montreal goalie.

Calgary put its 16th shot in the net 27 seconds into the second period. Parked to Condon's left, Hudler corralled a pass from Monahan and quickly fired the puck to tie the game 1-1.

Beaulieu and Jooris exchanged goals 2:09 apart, and Weise restored Montreal's one-goal lead with the eventual game-winner.

"It's a bit deflating right now, but when you're in a slump like this, it's when you need to bear down," Russell said. "We were still well in that game, were getting chances, and if a few of them go in, it could have been a different story, but just saying that doesn't matter. When we have chances, we've got to bury them."

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