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Chiarot scores in OT for Canadiens in 5-4 win over Flames

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Ben Chiarot scored the overtime winner for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-4 win over the host Calgary Flames on Thursday.

The Canadiens foiled the Flames in their bid to set a franchise record of 12 consecutive home wins at the Saddledome.

Chiarot scored his second of the game at 1:03 of OT.

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot puts the winning overtime goal past Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstron during overtime NHL hockey action in Calgary on Thursday, March 3, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Mike Hoffman had a goal and two assists for Montreal (14-34-7) at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.

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Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist and defenceman Jeff Petry also scored for the Canadiens.

Andrew Hammond made 30 saves for the win.

The Canadiens improved to 6-4 since head coach Martin St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme on Feb. 9.

Andrew Mangiapane had goal and two assists for Calgary (32-14-7) atop the Pacific Division.

Blake Coleman, Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames, whose 11 straight home wins equalled a record established during the 2015-16 season.

Jacob Markstrom had 30 saves in the loss in his 18th start in Calgary’s last 19 games

Alberta’s lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday meant no capacity limits or mask requirements Thursday at the Saddledome.

READ MORE: Saddledome gets set for packed, maskless Flames game

Game attendance had been capped at 50 per cent since Dec. 21. Masks were mandatory from the start of the season.

The Flames had averaged 12,421 in a building that holds 19,278 over their first 23 home games.

Thursday’s attendance of 16,288 was the second-highest of this season behind 17,036 at a Nov. 26 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

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Ukraine and its struggle against invader Russia was acknowledged before the game, however, with Ukrainian colours flooding the ice during O Canada.

The visitors scored late in the second and twice in the third to lead 4-3 with 2:45 remaining in regulation.

But the Flames then swarmed the net with Markstrom pulled for an extra attacker. Lindholm produced the equalizer with 28 seconds remaining.

Hoffman beat Markstrom far side with a wrist shot from the face-off circle at 17:15 of the third period.

Chariot, who was hit in the face by a flying puck earlier in the game, scored on a wrist shot deflecting off Markstrom’s glove at 4:38 of the third.

The Canadiens pulled within one at 17:44 of the second during a two-man advantage when Suzuki squeezed a sharp-angled shot under Markstrom.

Montreal’s power play went 1-for-6 in the game, while Calgary was 0-for-3.

Mangiapane scored shorthanded for his fourth goal in as many games. He picked up a neutral zone turnover, drove into the offensive zone and beat Hammond with a backhand at 15:40 for a 3-1 lead.

Gaudreau put the Flames up 2-1 at 12:08 when Calgary corralled a poor clearing attempt by Hammond. Gaudreau skated the puck out from the boards and beat Hammond upstairs.

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The Canadians drew even 1-1 with 26 seconds remaining in the first period. Ten seconds after a Calgary power play expired, Markstrom couldn’t secure a rebound off a Montreal rush and Petry put a sharp-angled shot over the prone Flames goalie.

The hosts led 1-0 at 11:06. Mangiapane skated the puck out of the corner, got Hammond stretching to his right and dished to a wide-open Coleman on Montreal’s doorstep.

Flames forward Tyler Toffolli faced his former club for the first time since the Canadiens traded him to Calgary for centre Tyler Pitlick, prospect Emil Heineman and a pair of draft picks Feb. 14.

The Flames are on the road Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche before back-to-back games at home starting Monday against the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals.

The Canadiens continue their road trip West in Edmonton on Saturday and Vancouver next Wednesday.

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