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Flames end four-game winning streak

2/19/2004

MONTREAL (AP) -- Pierre Dagenais and the Montreal Canadiens
shared the common purpose of getting their game back on track.

Dagenais scored twice and backup goalie Mathieu Garon made 19
saves Thursday night as Montreal ended a season-high four-game
losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Patrice Brisebois and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the
Canadiens, who ended Calgary's third four-game winning streak this
season.

"Before the game, all the guys talked together. We all wanted
to win this game," said Dagenais, who hadn't scored in over a
month and was a healthy scratch in the previous two games.

Jarome Iginla scored his 30th goal for the Flames, who fell
short of their first five-game winning streak in seven years.

"We got outworked. We got outcompeted," Iginla said. "We knew
they'd be a desperate club and it was something that you have to
give them credit. They came out and they played a strong game."

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who got into two separate stick
altercations with team scoring leader Mike Ribeiro at practice
Wednesday, heard a smattering of boos from the sellout Bell Centre
crowd of 21,273 each time he touched the puck.

"If you ask me if it makes me feel comfortable out there, no,
it doesn't," said Koivu, who missed most of the 2001-02 season
battling cancer. "This crowd that we have here can be a sixth
player, a huge advantage for us against other teams, and right now,
battling for a playoff spot, we can use all the help that we can
get."

Montreal rookie Michael Ryder and defenseman Andrei Markov each
assisted on goals by Dagenais and Brisebois in the second period.

Dagenais, who entered with one assist in nine games since
scoring his last goal on Jan. 17, put the Canadiens up 2-1 in the
second period when he swatted a rebound past goalie Miikka
Kiprusoff after Kiprusoff made a pad save on Ryder.

Brisebois scored his third of the season on a power play when he
beat Kiprusoff with a slap shot from the point.

Garon, rarely used behind Jose Theodore, made a sensational
glove save on Flames defenseman Denis Gauthier midway through the
third period. He also stopped Iginla twice on the same play.

"Sometimes I feel rusty, but tonight I felt good," Garon said.
"I felt during the warmup that I was sharp and I knew the game
would be easier for me to start. Sometimes it's kind of hard, the
first 10 minutes, but tonight I felt good."

Dagenais scored his second of the game into an empty net with
12.4 seconds remaining.

Garon has won each of his four starts since Dec. 23. Theodore
has lost four straight starts and eight of his last 10.

Kiprusoff stopped 28 shots, losing for the first time in four
starts (3-1) since returning from a knee injury that kept him out
19 games.

The Canadiens earned their first points since the All-Star break
(1-4-0).

Sundstrom opened the scoring during a delayed penalty seven
minutes into the game when he converted Steve Begin's pass for his
eighth of the season.

Iginla reached 30 goals for the fourth straight season when he
tied it during a 4-on-4 situation. Iginla skated past Brisebois and
drove a slap shot over Garon's right shoulder into the top of the
net on an unassisted effort.

"It is a good feeling," Iginla said of the milestone. "I'm
thankful to be in the NHL. I'm happy that I've been able to get 30
goals again. Hopefully I'll be able to keep going."

Game notes
The Flames, who got their 30th win Sunday to surpass last
season's total, haven't had a five-game winning streak since Feb.
7-15, 1997. ... Iginla scored 35 goals last season after leading
the NHL with a career-high 52 in 2001-02. He scored 31 in 2000-01,
29 in 1999-00, and 28 in 1998-99.