NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Calgary
(Tuesday, October 6th)
Final Score: Calgary 4, Montreal 3
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Eric Nystrom scored two goals to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Saddledome.
Jarome Iginla and Staffan Kronwall also scored for the Flames, who improved to 3-0 on the young season. Miikka Kiprusoff allowed three goals on 30 shots in the victory.
"We've been very committed as a group to do things the right way, and that's a credit to our leadership," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. "We're finding ways to win and that's very important, but we need to (realize) that we need to continue to get better."
Guillaume Latendresse, Tomas Plekanec and Scott Gomez scored for Montreal, which is in the midst of its season-opening five-game road trip that will continue in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Canadiens won their first two games of 2009-10 but are now winless in their last five trips to Calgary.
Jaroslav Halak gave starter Carey Price a rest and made 24 saves in the loss.
With the scored tied 3-3, the Flames took the lead for good 2:16 into the final stanza. Kronwall fired a one-timer from above the left circle after the puck had caromed off the half-wall and the shot slipped through heavy traffic past Halak. The tally was originally credited to Nystrom, who was in front and appeared to have deflected it, but was later changed. It would have been Nystrom's first career hat trick.
"It would've been a first for me -- even though I didn't score it, it was still cool to see (the hats come onto the ice)," joked Nystrom.
The best scoring chance for the visitors down the stretch occurred with under eight minutes to go. Mike Cammalleri was set up for a one-timer from the high slot, but his blast was turned aside by his former teammate Kiprusoff.
Cammalleri enjoyed a tremendous offensive season in 2008-09 with Calgary but signed as a free agent with Montreal this past summer.
Near the midpoint of the opening period, Calgary grabbed the lead. Following several missed shots, the puck caromed to Nystrom in the low slot. He settled the disc on his stick and fired a quick turnaround snap shot that lit the lamp at 8:17.
Montreal, though, scored twice within a 32-second span during the waning minute-plus of the stanza and went into the first intermission with a 2-1 edge.
First, at 18:47, Gomez took advantage of good positioning and tallied from the right circle. Cammalleri intercepted the puck along the left half-wall, curled atop the near circle and fired a pass across the slot for Gomez, who rifled home a one-timer.
Shortly after, the Habs moved on top. After Maxim Lapierre's shot from below the left point was stopped by Kiprusoff, Latendresse was all alone in front and he easily punched home the rebound from the top of the crease with 41 seconds remaining in the stanza.
Two Calgary goals in the latter portion of the second frame allowed the Flames to gain a 3-2 advantage.
"We made some mistakes that ended up costing us," said Montreal head coach Jacques Martin. "In that second period, we were sloppy in our own end, we had a lack of focus at certain points and it cost us a couple of goals."
After Nystrom deflected home a slap shot from the centerpoint by Adam Pardy at the 13:03 mark, Calgary moved in front via a power-play tally only 2:08 later when Iginla gained control of a rebound and scored from a sharp angle near the right post.
However, the Habs also used the area near the right post to knot the contest with only 11 seconds remaining in the second period. Plekanec, several feet out from the right post and with his back to the net, surprised Kiprusoff with a blind backhander that found a spot just inside the post.
"It was a good effort by (Plekanec) to get the game tied up," said Martin.
The Habs last victory here was on January 5, 2002...The last time the Flames started a season 3-0 was the 1993-94 campaign...It was only the second multi- goal game of Nystrom's career...Pardy ended with two assists.
10/07 00:32:51 ET