CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Sean Monahan had a goal and two assists as the Calgary Flames beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 Friday night.
Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and an assist, and Dillon Dube and Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames in the first of three straight games between the teams. Calgary pulled six points behind Montreal for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.
Jacob Markstrom made 17 saves and improved to 5-1 against the Canadiens this season.
Tyler Toffoli and Joel Armia scored for Montreal, which has lost three of their last five games. Jake Allen had 27 saves.
“They had a little more jump than us,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said. “Coming out of the corners, beating our guys back to the net, those are little things that you pile them up, you can pay the price for those things and we did.”
The teams meet again in Calgary on Saturday and Monday. The Flames lead the nine-game season series with Montreal 5-2.
“They’re gonna come up with a better game so we got to up our level too,” Monahan said.
Calgary called off a morning skate saying a player tested positive for COVID-19, but no other players or staff did. Forward Josh Leivo went on the NHL’s COVID protocol list Friday and the game went ahead. Calgary played 11 forwards against the Canadiens.
“It was a strange day and we didn’t know then what was going on, but we were told what to do,” Monahan said. “We were getting ready all day to play a game and it ended up working out.”
Leivo did not have symptoms of the virus, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter.
“I spoke with him before the game. He feels fine. He has no symptoms but he obviously (had) a positive test,” the coach said. “Other than that, the team and the league will handle it.”
Monahan scored the tiebreaking goal that put the Flames up 3-2 at 5:58 of the third period. Johnny Gaudreau fed the center from behind the net for Monahan to score top shelf on Allen.