The first period ended scoreless, but it was clear through some sloppy and lethargic play that the Avs did not have all their legs and energy under them. After playing the previous night in what was a hard fought (and a touch emotional) 4-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was understandable a let down was coming.
The second period did not disappoint for the Habs, as they saw goals by Nicolas Deslauriers at 5:42 and Alex Galchenyuk at 7:58, effectively blowing away the Avalanche strategy to never trail.
The third period didn't go much better, as Jonathan Drouin scored at 12:36 and put the game in the bag for Montreal. The Avalanche managed 12 shots through the first two periods - so they weren't making up a three goal deficit.
Assorted meaningless things happened, such as Nathan MacKinnon scoring at 14:11 and JT Compher finishing off with an absolute garbage goal with 12 seconds left. The team’s only two goals came sandwiched around giving Brendan Gallagher an easy empty net goal for some reason, and the game was mercifully over.
Chuck this one in the bin and move on. The Avalanche clearly didn't have their game this night. It's too bad the streak ended but adversity comes up every now and again. It's also best for them not to get too far ahead of themselves and the process to stay a little grounded in earth and not start thinking of short term goals like playoffs and quick fix measures like buying at the deadline.
Despite giving up three goals, Jonathan Bernier still played well, especially considering starting back to back. He made 36 saves and stood strong especially on the penalty kill. It's his net to lose right now, even with Semyon Varlamov's return and decisions looming.
Probably not the result Sam Girard wanted in his homecoming to his home province but still a big moment for him to play his first NHL game at the Bell Centre. Girard had hundreds of family and supporters attend the game and watched him play over 17 minutes this evening. They have a lot to be proud of how the 19-year old is handing his first season in the NHL.
The Avalanche conclude part one of their road trip in St Louis to take on the Blues at 6pm MT on Thursday, January 25th before heading off for the all-star break.