© Reuters. NHL: Montreal Canadianiens at Calgary Flames
A win is on the books to kick off an important series, but Calgary Flames knows they have to follow Friday’s win over Montreal Canadaiens with a duplicate result as the teams meet again on Saturday night.
The Flames (20-23-3, 43 points) clinched 4-2 on Friday to kick off their home three-game set against Canadianiens, a win that left Calgary six points behind Montreal in their fight for fourth place at Northern. Part.
The teams will also meet on Monday in Calgary for the ninth and last time this season as well, and Flames, who have 10 games left overall, cannot tolerate any setbacks in the meetings. play head-to-head if they want to keep the playoffs slim. hope to live.
Canadaiens (20-16-9, 49 points) has lost three of the past four games and is struggling to keep fourth place in the North. The top four teams in each group will advance to the knockout rounds.
The Flames have won five out of seven meetings this season but knew those victories wouldn’t matter much if they lost Saturday’s match.
“It’s a big win, but we have to do it day in and day out and we’ll have another one tomorrow,” said striker Sean Monahan, who scored the decisive goal in a three-point display said Friday. “We have to be ready for that. They’ll come up with a better game, so we have to raise our level too.”
One key for Calgary would be to use their speed to create attack opportunities.
“Keep playing fast. That’s when our team is in top shape,” said striker Andrew Mangiapane. “When we attack them on all the cylinders, rush at fast speed and together rushing the ice together with all five people, it’s hard to fight back.”
Canada, who have 11 games left, need to get back on track. They are swinging 3-7-0, with both Flames and Vancouver Canucks (18-19-3, 39 points) very far away from fourth if they don’t turn things around.
“I’m sure everyone will be a bit disappointed, but the game is over,” said goalkeeper Jake Allen, who is making a mistake while No. 1 goalkeeper Carey Price sidelined with concussion. “Yeah, think about it for a few minutes, but let’s get it out of your head and get it back tomorrow. We have a chance to atone.”
Canadianiens’ shipping rotation will be easier with Price and Brendan Gallagher, who are expected to return after a broken thumb until mid-May. Plus, Montreal got another hit on Friday when striker Jonathan Drouin was later scratched with a non-COVID illness, but Canadians had to go with those they had in the game.
The key word from Canada manager Dominique Ducharme after Friday’s defeat was his ability to play, and how Flames controlled the pace because of it.
Ducharme explained: “We took our stick and we lost it, either gave it away, either we threw it in the back of the option or in the skates and it slowed our play,” Ducharme explained . “We know what’s going to happen, and we have solutions and we have ways we want to react, but the implementation has to be better.”
Canada’s defensive player Joel Edmundson said his team lacked the connection between striker and defender, and therefore suffered costly setbacks.
“We didn’t get into enough of our games and let them put pressure on us,” said Edmundson. “We have not created enough offense; just one and one offense is done in the strike zone.”
Drouin’s status for Saturday’s match is unknown.
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