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Chiarot scores twice, including overtime winner, for Canadiens in 5-4 win over Flames

CALGARY — Ben Chiarot's night in Calgary included a puck in the face, stitches and two goals, including the overtime winner, for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-4 victory over the host Flames on Thursday.

CALGARY — Ben Chiarot's night in Calgary included a puck in the face, stitches and two goals, including the overtime winner, for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-4 victory over the host Flames on Thursday.

The Canadiens dug out of a 3-1 deficit in the second period and 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, tapping in a Rem Pitlick feed.

"That's a big one, beating a team like that," Chiarot said. "They're at the top of the standings and you can see why.

"That's a big one for the confidence of the team, knowing we can play with anybody."

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

Nick Suzuki had a goal and two assists and defenceman Jeff Petry also scored for the Canadiens.

Andrew Hammond contributed 30 saves for the win in his fourth career start for the Habs.

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

"Marty comes in and he gets the guys motivated to play," Chiarot said. "Every meeting grabs your attention and it's meaningful and it just gets the guys engaged.

"Marty has been a big factor in just the whole mood of the room changing." 

Chiarot went to the bench after a puck hit his chin in the second period.

"They glued it to stop the bleeding and then did stitches after the game," the defenceman said.

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

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

Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 shots in the loss in his 18th start in Calgary's last 19 games.

Montreal's power play went 1-for-6 in the game, while Calgary was 0-for-3. The Flames had 17 giveaways to Montreal's 10.

"Penalties, turnovers, cost you hockey games," Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. ""We're lucky to get a point. Take that many penalties. Top guys turn pucks over. Too many goals."

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

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.

Ukraine and its struggle against invader Russia was acknowledged before the game. Ukrainian colours flooded 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 scored on a wrist shot deflecting off Markstrom's glove at 4:38.

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. 

Mangiapane scored shorthanded for his fourth goal in as many games beating Hammond with a backhand at 15:40 for a 3-1 lead.

Gaudreau put the Flames up 2-1 at 12:08. He skated the puck out from the boards and beat Montreal's goalie upstairs.

The Canadians drew even 1-1 with 26 seconds remaining in the first period. 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 Toffoli 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.

Calgary is on the road Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche before returning to host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

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

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2022.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press