Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Byron Froese Scores First Goal since Feb. 2016, Canadiens Beat Flames 3-2

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Byron Froese Scores First Goal since Feb. 2016, Canadiens Beat Flames 3-2

Article excerpt

Byron Froese, Canadiens beat Flames 3-2

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CALGARY - Byron Froese went so long without an NHL goal that he wasn't sure how to celebrate.

Froese scored his first goal in 22 months and also added an assist as the Montreal Canadiens hung on for a 3-2 win on Friday night against the Calgary Flames.

"It feels really good," said the 26-year-old, whose last goal came as a Toronto Maple Leaf on February 20, 2016. "From the celebration, you could see, I couldn't think about anything else but to raise my hands."

Froese opened the scoring 10:45 into the first period when he deflected Jordie Benn's point shot past Mike Smith. He then assisted on a goal by Nicolas Deslauriers at 8:44 of the second as the visitors went ahead 2-0. Froese curled out of the corner and fired a shot on goal that Smith stopped, but Deslauriers batted in the rebound out of mid-air for his third goal in two games.

The line of Froese, Daniel Carr and Deslauriers make up three of Montreal's top four scorers for December with 23 combined points.

"You can't call them a fourth line anymore because they're not playing like one," said Montreal coach Claude Julien. "They've been doing that for a while. They just play the right way. They're extremely solid and strong along the walls in both ends."

Froese has seven points (one goal, six assists) in eight December games. This after he had just two goals and five points through his first 72 career NHL games.

"Once we had that little bit of success that first game with Carr and (Deslauriers), you grip the stick a little bit looser and feel more confident and more comfortable," Froese said.

Brendan Gallagher, endding a six-game pointless streak, also scored for Montreal (16-15-4). The Canadiens play in Edmonton on Saturday.

Micheal Ferland and Matthew Tkachuk scored in the third period for Calgary (18-15-3). …

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