- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

MONTREAL (AP) - Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan was frustrated, and he didn’t hesitate to criticize his players after a lopsided loss Tuesday night.

Alexander Radulov scored twice and the Montreal Canadiens beat Calgary 5-1, extending the Flames’ losing streak to four games.

“We were pathetic,” Gulutzan said. “It was a pathetic display. No bite back, no kick back. Our top guys didn’t do anything. We needed someone to step up.

“You just have to man up. We play well, one bad thing happens and we crumple. Our starts have been good, but one little shot goes in and we crumple. We have no resolve to stay with it.”

Andrew Shaw, Tomas Plekanec and Daniel Carr also scored for Montreal (29-13-7), which took the lead late in the first period and never looked back. Carey Price made 30 saves and even had an assist in his 22nd win of the season. He came within one second of a shutout.

Sam Bennett scored at 19:59 of the third period for Calgary (24-24-3), which was on the second game of a back-to-back. Chad Johnson stopped 15 of 20 shots.

Johnson got the start after Brian Elliott conceded four goals in a 4-0 loss at Toronto on Monday.

Price was solid after going through a bit of a recent slump. The All-Star goalie had allowed at least three goals in nine of his previous 11 starts.

But this time, Price was on his game from the get-go - and he got his first assist of the season on Montreal’s fourth goal. The goalie came oh-so-close to his 39th career shutout before he was beaten by Bennett.

Calgary outshot Montreal 31-20, but the Canadiens made their opportunities count. Montreal finished 2 for 3 with the man advantage and is 12 for its last 31 with the extra skater.

“We’re really focused on special teams right now,” Shaw said. “The power play really stepped up for us tonight.”

It was another slow start for the Flames, who have given up the first goal in nine straight games.

Despite getting several good shots on Price early, the Flames fell behind at 19:18 of the first period when Shaw ripped one past Johnson for his seventh of the season.

The Canadiens doubled their lead with a short-handed goal at 4:53 of the second. After Johnny Gaudreau bobbled the puck at the Montreal blue line, Plekanec scooped it up and skated the length of the ice, beating Johnson through the legs for his first goal in six games.

“As a goalie, you’ve got to find ways to make saves on breakaways and 2-on-1s because that’s what we’re giving right now,” Johnson said. “Yeah, we may be out-chancing teams, but do we generate breakaways and 2-on-1s? No, I don’t think we do that.”

With his 20th short-handed goal, Plekanec tied Bob Gainey for second on Montreal’s career list.

The Canadiens made it 3-0 at 9:02. While playing with the man advantage, Nathan Beaulieu looked to be taking a shot but instead fed Radulov with a crisp cross-ice pass. With Johnson out of position, Radulov made no mistake for his 11th of the season.

The Flames then had a great opportunity to get back into the game but made nothing of it.

With Jeff Petry and Jacob De La Rose in the penalty box, Calgary was on a 5-on-3 power play for 47 seconds. To make matters trickier for Montreal, Plekanec was playing without his stick. But time ticked away without a single shot on Price.

“We had our windows to get back in,” Gulutzan said. “We got a 5-on-3, broken stick, we couldn’t even muster a shot. What bugs me most is we play when it’s easy. If we have that mentality, we have to fight out of it.”

Montreal was without forward Alex Galchenyuk, who re-injured his right knee Saturday. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien shuffled his lines, and Carr filled the remaining hole on the fourth line.

Carr thanked his coach with his second goal of the season at 8:02 of the third period.

Radulov made it 5-0 on a power-play goal with 3:53 remaining.

“It feels good,” he said after his first two-goal game with Montreal. “The goal is to win hockey games and our lines are producing. But Price deserved the shutout. It’s tough and we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

NOTES: The Flames are 3-4-3 in the second game of a back-to-back. … Gaudreau has not scored in 11 games, the longest drought of his career.


Flames: Thursday night at Ottawa.

Canadiens: At the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide