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Canadiens limited by injuries

11/21/2003

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Miikka Kiprusoff showed just how
thrilled he was to be playing with the Calgary Flames.

Kiprusoff finished with 22 saves for his first win of the
season, and Martin Gelinas scored with 1:14 left to lead the Flames
to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Gelinas scored off a rebound of a slap shot by Jordan Leopold,
beating Montreal goaltender Jose Theodore.

Kiprusoff, acquired Sunday in a trade with San Jose, was picked
up to help Jamie McLennan shoulder the goaltending load with Roman
Turek sidelined indefinitely due to a knee injury.

"Miikka played great right from the start and made some key
saves," Gelinas said. "Nobody knew what to expect but he kept us
in the game all night long."

Steven Reinprecht also scored for Calgary, which has won the
first two games of its six-game homestand.

Craig Rivet scored for Montreal, which wraps up a five-game road
trip Saturday night in Edmonton with an outdoor game against the
Oilers. The Heritage Classic, which will be played on a rink
constructed at Commonwealth Stadium, will be the first ever NHL
game played outdoors.

Calgary erased a one-goal deficit with 53 seconds left in the
first period. Harrassed by Jarome Iginla, Montreal defenseman
Francis Bouillon turned the puck over to Dean McAmmond deep in the
Canadiens' zone. McAmmond and Iginla then worked the puck to the
front of the net where Reinprecht was able to jam a loose puck past
Theodore.

Montreal took the lead at 15:02 of the first period, scoring on
a five-minute power-play, which it received when Flames winger
Krzystof Oliwa was assessed a match penalty for a high-stick to the
head of Darren Langdon.

Montreal, which entered the game with the league's third-worst
power play, moved the puck around well during the extended
man-advantage scoring once and getting eight shots at Kiprusoff.

"He made two or three big saves in there that were scramble
saves," said Calgary coach and general manager Darryl Sutter.
"Where we've seen a lot of those opportunities go in the net, he
was able to make those saves and that's a rallying point for your
team."

Kiprusoff was just happy to get out of San Jose, where he did
not appear in a game this season.

"It was a tough time for me in San Jose, for five or six weeks
I didn't play at all," Kiprusoff said. "It's hard to keep my mind
clear and keep working hard because I know something is going to
happen but I didn't know when. The moment I heard I was coming
here, I was very happy."<

Rivet scored through Kiprusoff's pads from the top of the crease
after taking a pass from behind the net from Mike Ribeiro.

Ribeiro extended his point-scoring streak to six games. In the
span, he has six points, all assists.

Theodore, who gave up five goals in a loss to Vancouver on
Tuesday night, finished with 30 saves.

"It's really frustrating if you look at the way we played the
final two periods," Theodore said. "After the first period, they
came out really strong and kept working harder than we did."

The Canadiens put together a frantic rally in the final minute
with the goaltender pulled, but couldn't get the puck into the net.
Michael Ryder was stopped twice from close range.

"We had pressure on them in the third period, we had a chance
to tie it at the end, but we just couldn't buy one," Montreal
defenseman Sheldon Souray said.<
^Notes:@Montreal RW Donald Audette left the game in the first period
with a shoulder injury. ... LW Martin Gelinas returned to the
Flames lineup after missing two games with an injured ankle. ...
Montreal LW Marcel Hossa has been a healthy scratch in five of the
Canadiens' last eight games. ... Calgary is 6-2-0 when scoring a
power-play goal and 1-8-0 without a man-advantage goal.