Sean Monahan scores twice for Flames in 3-1 win over Canadiens

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CALGARY — Sean Monahan scored twice for Calgary Flames in a 3-1 win Saturday over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Mikael Backlund also scored for Calgary (13-12-3), which won two straight games for the first time in month. Jacob Markstrom made 24 saves for the win.

Darryl Sutter is 2-0-0 since taking over as head coach for Geoff Ward, who was fired March 4.

Defenceman Jeff Petry scored for Montreal (12-8-7) with Carey Price stopping 33 shots in the loss.

Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme is 3-3-3 since Claude Julien was sacked Feb. 24.

At the halfway point of their shortened season, the Flames were two points back of Montreal, which held down the fourth and final playoff spot in the all-Canadian North Division.

'The Canadiens have a game in hand on Calgary.

The Flames had doubled the tired Habs 2-1 at the Saddledome on Thursday. Montreal was playing its third road game in four nights and second in less than 24 hours that day.

Montreal was more rested Saturday for the fourth of nine games this season against Calgary, as was Price, who didn't play in Thursday's loss.

But the Flames dominated the opening period outshooting the visitors 16-6 and leading 2-0 heading into the second.

Price went to Montreal's bench with over four minutes remaining in regulation for an extra attacker.

The puck slipped under Markstrom in a goal-mouth scramble, but officials ruled Montreal's Josh Anderson kicked it in.

Petry scored Montreal's lone goal during a 4-on-4 at 14:20 of the second period.

Jonathan Drouin in the slot dished the puck to Petry, who swept it between the goalpost and Markstrom's right arm.

Backlund produced Calgary's third goal at 7:20. Andrew Mangiapane fought off Petry behind the net and fed Backlund just outside Price's crease.

Officials waved off a Johnny Gaudreau goal early in the period stating the Flames winger kicked the puck into Montreal's net.

Monahan scored his second of the first period in a goal-mouth scramble. He kept his feet in a pile-up of bodies and tapped the airborne puck by Price for a power-play goal at 13:56.

With teammate Brett Ritchie clearing space behind Montreal's net, Monahan skated the puck out, spun and fired it over Price's glove at 5:18 for Monahan's 200th career goal.

Notes: Monahan had his first two-goal game of the season . . . Petry leads all NHL defencemen in goals with 11.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2021

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press