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Jake Allen stops 45 shots as Canadiens nip Flames

Cole Caufield’s third-period, power-play goal broke a deadlock and goaltender Jake Allen sparkled to give the visiting Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

Juraj Slafkovsky also scored for the Canadiens, who have won three of four games and kicked off a four-game road trip with a gritty win.

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Allen made 45 saves — 21 in the third period alone — in a brilliant performance. Sean Monahan, making his first return to Calgary after nine seasons with the Flames, collected two assists.

Elias Lindholm scored for the Flames, who have lost four of five games (1-3-1). Jacob Markstrom stopped 17 shots in the loss.

With the score tied 1-1, Caufield set up shop in the left circle and converted a perfect cross-ice pass from Ryan Suzuki at 6:29 of the third period for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.

From there, Allen held the fort against a Flames team that had all kinds of offensive chances but couldn’t find the equalizer. Among the litany of his big saves was a breakaway chance for Blake Coleman late in the first period and an opportunity for Lindholm in the final frame.

Slafkovsky opened the scoring just 13 seconds into the clash, the third-fastest goal to start a game by a rookie in Canadiens history. Markstrom left his net to chase a puck just inside his own blue line, but it bounded to Slafkovsky, and the 2022 first overall draft choice hit the yawning cage for his fourth goal of the season.

The Flames recovered and were finally rewarded when Lindholm evened the clash with 29 seconds remaining in the second period. Lindholm created a turnover in the Montreal zone and then was left alone at the side of the net for an easy tap-in tally set up by Jonathan Huberdeau.

It was Lindholm’s seventh goal of the season and first in eight games.

However, Allen wasn’t beaten the rest of the way despite all kinds of Calgary chances.

–Field Level Media

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