December 20, 2018 / 4:38 AM / 8 months ago

Grubauer, Avalanche hold off Canadiens

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, Gabriel Landeskog also scored, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Wednesday night in Denver.

Nathan MacKinnon had two assists and Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves for Colorado. The Avalanche had allowed 33 goals in their previous seven games but clamped down Wednesday night, winning for the second time in three contests.

Colorado played most of the game without Nikita Zadorov. The defenseman played just a minute in the second period before leaving with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Brendan Gallagher scored, Jeff Petry and Jonathan Drouin had assists, and Carey Price stopped 24 shots for the Canadiens. Price was denied his 300th career win with the loss as Montreal fell for the third time in five games.

Landeskog broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period. MacKinnon passed the puck to the front of the net, and Landeskog’s initial shot was stopped by Price. The rebound came up high, and Landeskog batted it in for his team-leading 23rd goal at 35 seconds of the period.

The Canadiens used a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld upon review.

Montreal came into the game struggling on its power play but found success on its first attempt when Gallagher deflected a shot from the point by Petry at 5:43 of the first period. The power-play goal broke an 0-for-25 stretch for the Canadiens. They have scored just 15 goals with the man advantage this season.

The Avalanche got the equalizer early in the second period. Price’s backhanded pass attempt was intercepted by MacKinnon, and he fed Rantanen in front for his 16th goal at 4:21.

Price made several big saves early in the game to keep Montreal in the lead and then had one as he was trying to come off for an extra skater. He saved a goal, but the Canadiens were hit with a penalty for too many men on the ice with 1:05 left.

Colorado went on the power play and Price came off for an extra skater. Montreal had another big chance, but Grubauer made a big save to preserve the victory.

—Field Level Media

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