Live

Watch CBSN Live

Flames Hold On To Playoff Spot

Valeri Bure has the winning touch these days.

Bure scored his fourth winning goal in the last six games Thursday night as the Calgary Flames strengthened their hold on a playoff spot with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

With the teams playing 4-on-4, Brian Savage was stripped of the puck by Andrew Cassels at the Canadiens' blue line.

Related Links

Game summary

More NHL features:

  • Enforce-O-Meter rankings
  • Next Generation
  • Exclusive audio
  • Bure picked up the loose puck and from 30 feet out, fired a wrist shot that beat Jeff Hackett high on the glove side at 14:20 of the third.

    The moved Calgary four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers in the battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Each team has 11 games remaining.

    "It's either going to be me or somebody else," said Bure of his heroics of late. "Four winners in six games is really good but we've got so many guys that can put the puck in the net. ... every night somebody is contributing."

    Jason Wiemer also scored for the Flames, who now hit the road for a three-game trip which begins Saturday night in Phoenix.

    Eric Weinrich scored for Montreal.

    Bure has led the collective team effort that has seen the Flames reel off a surprising 7-3-1 record in 11 games since trading all-time leading scorer Theoren Fleury to the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 28.

    "I'm playing on the power play, 4-on-4, I'm getting more ice time and just getting lots of chances," said Bure, who has nine goals and four assists in the last 11 games.

    Bure also tied a season high with his 22nd goal, matching his total from three years ago set in his rookie year with the Montreal Canadiens.

    "I'll tell you one thing, I'm a much better player this year with 22 goals than I was three years ago," Bure said.

    With the score tied 1-1, it looked like Montreal was going to take the lead in the third but Dainius Zubrus's shot was gloved acrobatically by Ken Wregget while he lay sprawled in the crease.

    "Iwas a good and exciting game to watch and play tonight, a playoff-type game," said Montreal's Shayne Corson. "Too bad we came out on the short end of the stick."

    It was another blow to the Canadiens' fading playoff hopes. Montreal is 11th in the Eastern Conference and trail the eighth-place Boston Bruins by eight points with only 10 games left.

    "We're not out of it yet, we have Boston twice still and although we need some help, none of the guys in this room are going to quit," said Corson.

    Wregget finished with 27 saves while Jeff Hackett turned in another impressive performance with 34 stops.

    Making his 17th consecutive start, Hackett has yielded only seven goals over the last seven games.

    The Canadiens lost defenseman Vladimir Malakhov in the first period with a sprained left knee. Montreal was also without Saku Koivu. The Canadiens' leading scorer strained his knee in the first period of Wednesday night's win in Edmonton and is listed as day-to-day.

    Calgary also failed to escape the game injury-free losing Jeff Shantz in the first period when he hurt his wrist when he crashed into the end boards.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed