Canadiens 3 Flames 2
CALGARY — Byron Froese scored his first goal in 22 months and also added an assist as the Montreal Canadiens hung on for a 3-2 win on Friday night against the Calgary Flames.
Froese opened the scoring 10:45 into the first period when he deflected Jordie Benn’s point shot past Mike Smith for his first goal since Feb. 20, 2016, when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He then assisted on a goal by Nicolas Deslauriers at 8:44 of the second as the visitors went ahead 2-0.
Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal (16-15-4). The Canadiens play in Edmonton on Saturday.
Micheal Ferland and Matthew Tkachuk scored in the third period for Calgary (18-15-3). The Flames are the only NHL team not in action on Saturday and don’t play again until Dec. 28 in San Jose.
Froese curled out of the corner and fired a shot on goal that Smith stopped, but Deslauriers batted in the rebound out of mid-air for his third goal in two games.
Froese has seven points (one goal, six assists) in eight games in December. This after he had just two goals and five points through his first 72 career NHL games.
Down 3-0 and having turned in a listless effort to that point, Calgary finally got on the scoreboard at 9:42 of the third when Ferland knocked Michael Frolik’s rebound past Carey Price.
Calgary drew to within one at 18:07 with a power-play goal from Tkachuk. It came after the Flames had also pulled their goaltender for a 6-on-4. But they would get no closer despite a furious push in the final minute.
Calgary was outshot 12-6 in the final 20 minutes and 35-23 on the game.
It was the 12th start in a row for Price since returning from a lower-body injury. The Canadiens are 8-3-1 in that span.
It could have been worse for Calgary. Montreal thought it had taken the lead 55 seconds into the game, only for Max Pacioretty’s goal to be overturned on video review with Flames coach Glen Gulutzan correctly challenging that Paul Byron was offside.
With his 21 stops, Price improves to 11-10-2. Smith had 32 saves for Calgary to fall to 14-12-3.
Notes: Montreal D Shea Weber (foot) returned to the line-up after missing one game… The loss breaks a streak of six straight years in which the Flames had won their last game before Christmas… Calgary D Travis Hamonic (groin) was placed on injured reserve. Taking Hamonic’s spot in the line-up was Matt Bartkowski, who had sat 19 of the previous 20 games as a healthy scratch.