MONTREAL (AP) — Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, including the winner in the third period, to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over Calgary on Friday night that snapped the Flames’ three-game winning streak.
Toffoli was credited with the go-ahead goal at 15:45 of the third after he deflected in a pass from Joel Armia over the glove of Jacob Markstrom. Toffoli came in without a goal in six games.
“An offensive guy like him,” coach Dominique Ducharme said, “I could see he was getting frustrated, which is normal and which is good to see a guy that wants to make the difference.”
Jake Allen made 13 of his 28 saves in the first period for the Canadiens, who had lost three of their previous four games — including a 4-1 loss to the Flames on Wednesday night.
Elias Lindholm scored the lone goal for the Flames, who had pulled within four points of the Canadiens for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. The teams face each other three more times this month in Calgary.
“We beat a team that’s breathing down our necks a little bit here in the playoff hunt,” Toffoli said. “So it was a big win for us.”
Toffoli put the Canadiens on the scoreboard first with his 20th of the season at 9:32 of the second off a great feed from Nick Suzuki who circled around the net to find him. Toffoli finished with a wrist shot past Markstrom to reach 20 goals in consecutive seasons.
“He’s such a smart player,” Ducharme said of Toffoli. “He can really analyze well what he’s doing from one game to the other, what works, so you don’t need to talk to him that often. We had a good conversation, wasn’t that long and I really liked his game.”
Allen made a spectacular diving stick save in the second period by stretching across an empty net to just barely deflect a point-blank shot from Lindholm.
“He’s been playing incredible,” Toffoli said of Allen. “Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ve had our best games and he’s kept us in all of them.”
Meanwhile, Calgary also hit two posts in the period.
Lindholm tied it with his 11th goal of the season at 6:30 of the third with a wild swing-around backhand shot that glanced off defenseman Ben Chiarot’s skate and in. Chiarot was playing his first game back after missing 15 with a broken hand.
The Canadiens announced they called up F Cole Caufield from the AHL’s Laval Rocket and placed him on the taxi squad. Caufield, who played for the University of Wisconsin, won the Hobey Baker Award last week as the top player in the NCAA Division 1. … The Canadiens also called up G Cayden Primeau from the Rocket on an emergency basis to back up Allen.
Canadiens G Carey Price missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. Coach Dominique Ducharme said after Friday morning’s skate that he wasn’t ready to return to the lineup. Ducharme said there was a chance Price could play Saturday against Ottawa.
Flames: home against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.
Canadiens: host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
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