Lang, Halak lift Canadiens past Flames

PA Stats Inc
By: PA Stats Inc
Dec 9, 2008
The Hockey News

Lang, Halak lift Canadiens past Flames

PA Stats Inc
By: PA Stats Inc
Dec 9, 2008

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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Lang, Halak lift Canadiens past Flames