Carl Soderberg and Alexander Kerfoot scored, and Semyon Varlamov stopped all 44 shots he faced as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Wednesday night in Denver to equal a franchise record with a 10th consecutive home-ice victory.
Varlamov recorded his second shutout of the season and his first win since returning from injury a couple of weeks ago.
Colorado’s last loss at the Pepsi Center was Dec. 27. The last time the organization won 10 straight home games was when the team played in Quebec City during the 1994-95 campaign. The Nordiques also won 10 straight home games in the 1983-84 season.
It couldn’t have come at a better time for the Avalanche either. The team has struggled since a 10-game winning streak from Christmas to mid-January, going 2-5-1 before meeting the struggling Canadiens.
The night marked the 3,000th regular-season game in Avalanche/Nordiques history, although it may not go down as the most entertaining.
After a scoreless, and rather uninspired, first period, Soderberg finally broke the deadlock at the 15:55 mark of the middle frame with a goal that left coaches shaking their heads.
Soderberg got the puck behind the Montreal net and was chased by Montreal defenseman Joe Morrow, who opted not to hold his position and watched Soderberg tuck a wraparound shot through the legs of Canadiens goalie Antti Niemi. The goal was Soderberg’s 11th goal of the season and first in a dozen games.
Kerfoot rounded out the scoring at 16:58 of the third period. While the Canadiens showed more porous defensive play, the puck came to Kerfoot during a scramble, and he buried the shot for his 14th goal of the season.
The Canadiens certainly had their chances. They wasted a 40-second five-on-three power play early in the third period and had some golden chances — including Alex Galchenyuk ringing a shot off the post — before Kerfoot’s insurance marker.
Niemi stopped 23 shots for the Canadiens, the league’s worst road club. They have now lost four straight on the road and have dropped nine of 10 away from home.
—Field Level Media