After a 44-save performance against the New York Rangers in his last time out, Rittich made 37 saves in the losing effort. The Czech goalie was, by far, Calgary's best player, keeping the score close while his teammates failed to generate enough offence.
''He's not God out there,'' Matthew Tkachuk said of his goalie. ''He can't stop everything. At one point, they're just going to go in. They keep getting these chances. Eventually it's going to go in.
''It was a bad effort after we got away with one in New York because of our goalie. And maybe tonight we can return him the favor and play well and bail him out, but the opposite again.''
The Flames jumped to a 1-0 lead at 16:46 of the first period when Tkachuk's shot bounced off Frolik's skate and past Price.
Rittich was outstanding at the start and did what he could to preserve Calgary's lead. At one point, the 26-year-old goaltender made four saves on four Canadiens players in a two-second span in the second period.
''Right from the start you could see how sharp he was again,'' Flames captain Mark Giordano said. ''Tough not to get points tonight when your goalie's that good and holding you in it for as long as he did.
''You can't keep chasing games. It's not a good thing to do in this league. Eventually it's going to come back to bite you. We chased the game all night.''
But Montreal was relentless in the second period. Aided by four consecutive Calgary penalties, the Canadiens scored three goals in a 3:21 span.
With TJ Brodie in the box for interference, Petry fired a one-timer from the faceoff dot that beat Rittich at 15:50. The point was Petry's 100th in a Canadiens uniform.
Again with a man advantage, the Canadiens made it 2-1 when Gallagher redirected Petry's sharp pass past Rittich at 17:29.
With 49 seconds left in the second, Drouin scored with a shot between Rittich's arm and the post, and extended his points streak to five games.
Montreal outshot Calgary 22-8 in the second period.
''We were getting chances and it was just about burying them and putting them in the back of the net,'' said Drouin. ''It's easier to keep going when you have your chances.''
Lindholm got one back for the Flames at 11:10 of the third, finishing off a give-and-go with Mikael Backlund for his team-leading sixth goal of the year.
Price tied Patrick Roy for second place in team history for most wins by a goaltender with 289.
''Pretty cool experience,'' said Price of tying Roy. ''It was a great night. Overall everybody played well. Great effort from everybody.''
NOTES: Former Toronto Maple Leafs Tie Domi and Mats Sundin were in attendance at Bell Centre. . Jordie Benn played his 400th career game, while Brodie skated in his 500th NHL game. . Johnny Gaudreau saw his four-game point streak snapped. ... Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete was back in the lineup, which meant Karl Alzner was a healthy scratch for the sixth time this season.
Flames: Home against Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Canadiens: At Buffalo on Thursday.
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