Lang, Halak lift Canadiens past Flames - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Lang, Halak lift Canadiens past Flames

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MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Robert Lang scored two goals for the first

time in nearly a year and Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves Tuesday

to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary


Matt D'Agostini and defenseman Andrei Markov also tallied and

Alexei Kovalev and Alex Tanguay each notched two assists for the

Canadiens, who improved to 4-0-1 over their last five contests.

"I think game by game, I'm getting more comfortable out there

with my linemates," said D'Agostini, who has scored in four

straight games.

Dustin Boyd netted the lone goal and Miikka Kiprusoff turned

aside 27 shots for the Flames, who had won five of their

previous six.

"They played really well tonight. Their skills really showed,

and our power play didn't get us a goal when we needed one and

we just weren't able to get any momentum going," Calgary's David

Moss said. "It was one of those games where they had a lot of

momentum and we just couldn't break it."

Lang opened the scoring 3:41 into the contest, taking a pass

from Kovalev and skating down the left wing. He cut to the net

and fired an off-angle backhander that sneaked past Kiprusoff.

With the Canadiens holding a 2-1 edge, Lang doubled the

advantage with his 10th goal of the season. He accepted a pass

from Tanguay in front of the net and made a quick turnaround

wrist shot that beat the outstretched pad of Kiprusoff with 4:42

left in the second period.

"It seemed like the whole team was sharp," Lang said. "For our

line, we clicked well, seemed like we finally scored on some of

our chances. It's always fun when you have the puck a lot and

you play well."

Halak made the most of his first appearance of the month,

allowing just Boyd's goal at 6:32 of the second period that cut

Calgary's deficit to 2-1. It was Halak's first win since

October 20.

"It's a big relief for me to get the win. It's been a while,"

Halak said. "They were shooting a lot in the first period, so I

got in the game. When you get a lot of shots early, sometimes

you get warmed up, and that was the case tonight."

"(Halak) played a very solid game for them," Flames coach Mike

Keenan said. "We had a lot of early chances and he had a

consistent game throughout. Very, very solid in net for them.

He was probably the difference-maker."

D'Agostini gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead at 4:17 of the second,

when he blocked Calgary blue-liner Adam Pardy's shot for a

breakaway and beat Kiprusoff with a backhander. But the

two-goal edge was short-lived, as Boyd scored less than 2 1/2

minutes later.

Markov sealed the victory when his slap shot beat Kiprusoff

between the pads with 8:54 remaining in the contest. Lang

assisted on the goal for his third point of the night.

"They're a skilled team and a quick team. They took away our

defensive-zone coverage completely," Keenan said. "They played

the trap well and then countered with rushes and then looked for

puck action after that."

It was not all good news for Montreal, however, as left wing

Chris Higgins and defenseman Mathieu Dandenault both left the

contest with injuries.

Higgins, who appeared to hurt his hand, will undergo an MRI on

Wednesday. Dandenault will be out of the lineup for several

weeks with a broken left arm.



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