'Guay old time for Alex

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Trotted out for the media for the umpteenth time this week, Alex Tanguay was smiling wide.

His smiles over the last half of his final season in Calgary were forced. Last night it was as genuine as they get after his Montreal Canadiens handed the Flames a 4-1 loss at the Bell Centre.

Not only did the Habs beat his former team, Tanguay's newly formed line with Robert Lang and Alex Kovalev did most of the damage.

"It was fun," said Tanguay after the massive group of French-speaking media dispersed. "It was the first time for us three together and, hopefully, we can do what we did tonight, because it was a fun night."

With assists on the Canadiens' last two goals and a front-and-centre view of the opener from Lang 3:41 into the first period, Tanguay's only regret was he didn't get one himself.

He had a great chance late in the opening frame but was denied by Miikka Kiprusoff's quick glove.

"I would have liked to get back to Kipper after the save he made on me in the first period. It was beautiful," said Tanguay, who was patient with the puck when he found himself all alone at the bottom of the circle. "I knew he'd come out and challenge. He's got those quick legs. I thought I had him pulled out just enough, but he's got long arms, I guess."

Another big smile crossed his face.

In the visitors' dressing room, there are no smiles to be seen.

Dion Phaneuf, the victim of a late knee from Habs defenceman Andrei Markov, is half dressed and seething on the bench. Jarome Iginla is tossing equipment into his bag as reporters approach.

"They had a good night. You knew Tangs would be fired up. They're a quick team and they were skating," said Iginla of the line that schooled his own trio for most of the night.

Iginla, Michael Cammalleri and Todd Bertuzzi were on the ice together for both of Lang's goals and were a combined minus-5 on the night.

Making things worse was their performance on the powerplay, where they went zero for four.

"We had some chances to get ourselves right back there and it was bad tonight," said Iginla.

"Unfortunately, it didn't only not score, it might have lost us momentum tonight."

Despite the final score, it wasn't a poor effort from the Flames. They had a strong first period but couldn't get a puck past goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Flames head coach Mike Keenan didn't believe Habs bench boss Guy Carbonneau was actually going to play his backup against them, but no one could doubt the result as he made 32 saves for the win.

Markov and Matt D'Agostini added markers for the Habs. Only Dustin Boyd, making his return from a shoulder injury after sitting out five games, could score for the Flames.

"We weren't good enough, not only defensively, but offensively. Every area of the game they had just a little bit more than us," said Phaneuf, who, after the low hit late in the third, wasn't sure how his legs would be feeling today as his team gets set to battle the Red Wings in Detroit.

"They played well, and we played OK. It just wasn't a good enough effort overall to win a hockey game against a very skilled team."

For Tanguay, it was a relief after a couple days of buildup that included massive crowds in front of his stall and a lot of bilingual repetition with his former team coming to town.

"Yeah, happy for the night to be over," Tanguay said, adding he was nervous to face his former friends.

He didn't get to see them much, with the Flames having a team dinner the night before and trying to get out of a stormy Montreal after the game, but Tanguay said he'd probably text a few of them.

He might want to wait a few days. The Flames are a little upset they let that one get away.


Videos

Photos