It wasn’t the most eventful game of the year, but the Colorado Avalanche came away with a 2-0 win at home against the Montreal Canadiens. It was a great team effort, buoyed by a tremendous 43-save effort by Semyon Varlamov.
The first period was a whole lot of nothing. Long stretches with no whistles, a couple shifts of sustained pressure from both teams, but all in all, not a whole lot to write home about.
Not a lot more to speak of to start the second. After killing off an Alex Kerfoot high sticking penalty, the Avalanche were able to take over the play. They put a ton of pressure on the Canadiens but were unable to solve Antti Niemi. Then after another huge penalty kill, the Avalanche finally broke the deadlock as Carl Soderberg was able to slide one past Niemi on the wrap around. The assists went to A.J. Greer and Gabriel Bourque and it gave the Avs a 1-0 lead heading into the third.
The third period started off like the previous two - a few decent scoring chances, but nothing overly eventful. As the period went on, the Canadiens put on a ton of pressure, but Semyon Varlamov was there to shut the door. Varly looked to be back in prime form as he held the one-goal lead long enough for Alex Kerfoot to score an unassisted goal with three minutes left in the game to extend the lead.
The Habs put on a ton of pressure - playing 6 on 5 for the last two and a half minutes of the game - but Vary stood tall and led the way for a 2-0 victory.
The win puts Colorado’s record at 4-3-1 with Nathan MacKinnon out of the lineup.
The Avalanche will travel to Winnipeg - something no one wants to do in February - for a game against the Jets Friday night.