Calgary Flames put playoff pressure on Montreal Canadiens with 4-1 win over Habs

MONTREAL — The Calgary Flames closed the gap on Montreal holding down the North Division’s final playoff spot with a 4-1 win Wednesday over the host Canadiens.

Calgary (19-21-3) now trails Montreal (18-13-9) by four points.

The two clubs clash again Friday at Bell Centre and meet four times over the next 12 days.

The Flames lead their nine-game season series against 4-1.

Calgary captain Mark Giordano led the Flames with a goal and an assist Wednesday.

Noah Hanifin, Josh Leivo also scored with Sean Monahan adding the empty-netter. Chris Tanev had a pair of assists.

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Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) makes a save as Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk, right, and Montreal Canadiens Alexander Romanov, left, look on during second period NHL hockey action Wednesday, April 14, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Flames starter Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves in his second win in as many nights after Calgary’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Brett Kulak countered for the Canadiens, who are 1-4 in their last five games. Goaltender Jake Allen had 30 saves in the loss.

Leivo restored Calgary’s two-goal lead at 12:49 of the third. He fought off Montreal captain Shea Weber and put a backhand upstairs on Allen.

Kulak halved the hosts’ two-goal deficit at 10:55 of the second period.

The defenceman earned his first goal in over two years converting a Jonathan Drouin backhand feed and scoring off the rush.

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Giordano’s slapshot through traffic from the point 29 seconds into the period made it 2-0 for the visitors.

Hanifin scored his fourth of the season at 3:58 of the first period.

Mikael Backlund won the offensive-zone faceoff and sent the puck back to the defenceman, who blasted a rising slapshot over Allen.

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