Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Thursday, November 20th
Game 2: Thursday, February 19th

Canadiens 1

(8-10-1, 18 pts)

Flames 2

(8-8-2, 18 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 20, 2003

Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
MTL 1 0 01
CGY 1 0 12

M. Kiprusoff (Flames - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: .957

J. Theodore (Canadiens - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

C. Conroy (Flames - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Canadiens limited by injuries

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press