After a dry start to the season with few goals, the Avalanche opened the floodgates in Ottawa and continued the trend in Montreal. Unlike the game against the Senators, though, this contest was a lot more nerve wracking. Like Thursday, a lot of different guys recorded some points, but this time it was the line of Paul Stastny, David Jones and Chuck Kobasew that was leading the charge.
The first period was a sloppy one for the Avs, colored by a lot of defensive miscues. However, Colorado struck first after Jones won the battle in the corner and sent off a backhanded pass to Kobasew, who beat Habs' goaltender Carey Price from the top of the face off circle. Montreal answered with a goal of their own. A botched clearing attempt by Jan Hejda led to a turnover. Too many bodies in front of the net and a sprawling Hejda in the crease gave Max Pacioretty his second goal of the season. With less than 30 seconds left in the period, Shane O'Brien took a roughing penalty for protecting Semyon Varlamov, and the Avs ended the period on the penalty kill. They went into the locker room being outshot by the Canadiens 20 to 9 and outchanced at the same 2-to-1 rate.
The second started with a short-handed chance by Daniel Winnik. Unfortunately, not only did he not score, he ran Price a little too aggressively and received an interference penalty, putting the Canadiens on the two-man advantage for 40 seconds. As the first penalty wound down, Tomas Plekanec sent a slap shot right through the slot past a screened Varlamov. The Avs killed the remaining minute of Winnik's penalty, while a few minutes later, Montreal took one of its own for delay of game. Although Colorado maintained good control, too much passing and not enough shooting left them 0-1 for the power play.
The Habs' Pacioretty was called for holding at about the 10 minute mark, and this time, the Avs capitalized. Stastny gained control of the puck with a textbook face off win just outside the blueline which Erik Johnson carried into the zone. His pass to Jones set up a perfect forehand wrister to the far point, tying the game at two. Shortly thereafter, Stastny robbed P.K. Subban at center ice, came in all alone on Price, and backhanded a shot to the back of the net, putting the Avs up three to two.
The lead wouldn't stand, however, as a two on two for Montreal quickly turned into a three on two in which Travis Moen brought the score even again. The heated battles in front of each net culminated in matching roughing penalties on O'Brien and Canadien Erik Cole. During the four-on-four play, Ryan Wilson set Pacioretty up for one of his trademark hits; although Pacioretty was able to avoid it, his anger over the attempt got the best of him as he focused on taking out Jones. Jones slipped past the check, putting him right in the slot. Wilson's pass to Jones banked off his skate and into the net five-hole, putting the Avs into the lead once again. This period ended with the Avs outshooting the Canadiens 14 to 6.
Less than 30 seconds into the third, Kyle Quincey received two minutes on a weak roughing call. The penalty kill was more aggressive, but Montreal kept the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire time. A gassed unit finally cleared the puck, with Varlamov making some great saves to preserve the lead. It didn't last as, after gaining momentum from killing a penalty against Subban for kneeing Lindstrom, Habs' captain Brian Gionta got his first goal of the season. The momentum continued with another quick goal, this time by David Desharnais.
With under five minutes left in the third, Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog and Daniel Winnik brought a solid, hard-working shift that led to another Montreal penalty, this time on Raphael Diaz for tripping. The Avs made their opponent pay as they scored another power play goal. It was a joint effort started by Johnson, who made a slick move to hold the puck in at the line. He sent it down the boards to Milan Hejduk, who circled behind the net and passed up to Quincey. With a one-timer from the face off circle, the game was tied.
The Habs maintained control for most of the overtime period, but solid play from the Avs sent the game to the shoot out. Like the game against Columbus, the home team elected to shoot first. Plekanec went first for Montreal and banged one off the cross bar that Varlamov cleared free. Hejduk was the first shooter for the Avs and made scoring look easy, once again. Pacioretty's attempt was stopped, while Matt Duchene sent his shot past Price for the win.
- Lindstrom - Duchene - Hejduk
- Jones - Stastny - Kobasew
- Landeskog - O'Reilly - Winnik
- McLeod - McClement - Porter
- Hejda - Johnson
- Quincey - O'Brien
- Wilson - O'Byrne
Who's wearing the A?
Tonight's third A was brought to you by Cody McLeod.
- Kevin Porter replaced T.J. Galiardi on the fourth line tonight; however, he only recorded 4:54 of ice time.
- Daniel Winnik had the most TOI of all forwards (21:36), followed closely by Paul Stastny (20:49), Ryan O'Reilly (19:25) and rookie Gabriel Landeskog (19:14)
- Five players all have 4 points: Jones (3g,1a), Hejduk (2g, 2a), Johnson (0g, 4a), Wilson (0g, 4a) and O'Reilly (0g, 4a)
- Ryan O'Reilly led in face offs at 73%; Stastny followed with 62%
The Avalanche hit Toronto next, meeting up with former teammates Johnny Hot Pocket and Philippe "Blue Steel" Dupuis for the final game of this road trip on Monday.