Avalanche’s top line gets it done in 2-1 victory over Montreal

Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.
Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.

The Colorado Avalanche looked to bounce back from their loss to the New York Islanders in the third game of their homestand, Wednesday night. Despite going 0-4 on the power play, the Avalanche squeaked out a 2-1 victory.

As they did last game, the Avalanche came out fast and got chances early, forcing Carey Price to make a stellar save on Matt Calvert to keep the score knotted at zero. Price would save all 12 of the shots he faced in the first frame.

Avalanche goaltender, Philip Grubauer, matched the play of Price early in the period, but Nikita Zadorov took a delay of game penalty at 4:47. Montreal capitalized on a tipped shot from Brendan Gallagher to go ahead 1-0.

Each team had one more power play chance in the period, but both failed to take advantage and they would head into the first intermission with the Montreal Canadiens leading by a goal.

Colorado was able to take advantage of a bad pass Price made from his crease, as Nathan MacKinnon intercepted it, found Mikko Rantanen in front of the net who put it far side to toe the game at 1-1.

Montreal poured on the shots, outshot the Avalanche 14-4 in the second period alone. Not only did they put more pucks on net than Colorado, but the Canadiens had nine blocked shots, too.

Both teams failed to score on their respective power plays; Colorado had two chances and Montreal had one. So, the two teams went into the second intermission all knotted up at one.

Colorado got back on track early in the third, as Gabriel Landeskog batted in his 23rd goal of the season and was assisted by his linemates, MacKinnon and Rantanen. The goal was reviewed for goalie interference and counted giving the Avalanche a 2-1 lead.

Rantanen played in his 200th career game Wednesday night, all in an Avalanche sweater. When asked about his milestone he said, “I’m just enjoying the life, you know?” Enjoying life he sure is, as he extended his lead in the points race to 58.

Colorado locked it down the remainder of the period, finalizing the score at 2-1. Grubauer finished the game with 35 saves and his team in front of him blocked 26 other shots.

Colorado finishes up their four-game homestand Friday night against another Central Division foe. The Chicago Blackhawks come to town for a 7 p.m. MT puck drop from Pepsi Center.