CALGARY – The Canadiens opened their four-game road trip with a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.
It was forward Sean Monahan‘s first game back in Calgary since joining the Canadiens, after playing 656 games over nine seasons in a Flames uniform. The Saddledome crowd welcomed him with a warm standing ovation.
Video: MTL@CGY: Monahan welcomed back to Calgary by fans
There were several lineup changes in Calgary, with Arber Xhekaj and Chris Wideman drawing back into the lineup. Jake Allen got the start in goal.
It was also a milestone night for Cole Caufield, who was playing in the 100th game of his NHL career.
The Habs didn’t take long to get things going at the Saddledome, with Juraj Slafkovsky getting Montreal on the board just 13 seconds into the game. Monahan played a big part in the goal as well, driving the puck into the Flames zone and forcing Calgary starter Jacob Markstrom far out of his net in an attempt to slide on the puck and cover it. When it came loose, however, Slafkovsky was there to pick it up and bury it for his fourth of the season.
Monahan and Kaiden Guhle got assists on the play.
The tally was the fastest game-opening goal for the Canadiens since December 2010.
Video: MTL@CGY: Slafkovsky fires home shot 13 seconds in
It would prove to be the only goal of the period, and the Habs headed to the room with a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 12-6 after 20 minutes.
The second period was largely uneventful on the scoresheet until late in the frame, when Calgary tied things up when Elias Lindholm one-timed Jonathan Huberdeau’s cross-crease pass past Allen with 29 seconds remaining.
The score was tied at 1-1 through two periods, with the Flames outshooting the Habs 13-8 in the second.
The Habs retook the lead at 6:29 of the third. With Andrew Mangiapane in the box for roughing, Caufield ripped a one-timer from his office at the faceoff dot to Markstrom’s right to make it a 2-1 game.
The goal, scored on the power play, was the 40th of Caufield’s career and his 13th of the season. Nick Suzuki, the author of the cross-ice pass, and Monahan got the assists.
Video: MTL@CGY: Caufield buries a one-timer for a PPG
Caufield’s milestone marker would stand as the game-winner.
Allen made 45 saves in the win.
The Habs play next on Saturday afternoon, when they take on the Oilers in Edmonton at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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