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Avalanche Falls to Canadiens, 8-5

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

MONTREAL (AP) -- Sheldon Souray had two goals and two assists and Chris Higgins scored Montreal's fourth power-play goal midway through the third, leading the Canadiens to an 8-5 win over Colorado on Saturday night in Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore's return to the Bell Centre.

Higgins scored his fifth of the season 10:55 into the third, tapping a loose puck behind Theodore and over the goal line to put Montreal ahead 6-5.

The sold-out crowd of 21,273 chanted "Theo! Theo!" after Alex Kovalev scored his third of the season at 12:48, then cheered loudly once again as Mike Johnson made it a three-goal lead at 13:54.

Craig Rivet came out of the penalty box and beat Theodore on a breakaway earlier in the period to give Montreal -- which trailed 3-0 in the first -- its first lead at 5-4.

Colorado's Andrew Brunette scored his second goal of the game 8:43 into the third to tie the score at 5.

Joe Sakic had a goal and an assist to move within three points of 1,500 for his career, and Paul Stastny scored his first career goal. Tyler Arnason also scored for the Avalanche.

Souray had points on four straight goals as the Canadiens recovered from scores by Sakic, Brunette and Stastny 1:15 apart in the first to tie it at 4 early in the third.

Souray scored his first of two power-play goals 17:20 into the first before adding his second 4:22 into the second to draw the Canadiens to within 3-2.

Arnason got his third goal at 6:26, before Souray drew an assist on Sergei Samsonov's second goal at 9:23 to make it 4-3.

Traded to Colorado for David Aebischer in a deadline deal on March 8, Theodore allowed five third-period goals to the delight of his former fans.

The 2001-02 league MVP, who had 23 shutouts with the Canadiens, was greeted with boos from the sellout crowd of 21,273 when he led the Avalanche onto the ice prior to the game.

Avalanche defenseman Patrice Brisebois, a frequent target of boos during his 14 seasons in Montreal, was booed when his assist was announced on Arnason's goal, as well as every time he touched the puck throughout the game.

Game notes
Stastny changed uniform numbers from No. 62 to No. 26. D John-Paul Liles gave him the number which was worn by Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, Paul's father, during his career with the Quebec Nordiques, who retired the number in his honor prior to the franchise's move to Denver. Liles switched to No. 4, previously worn by his idol and former teammate Rob Blake. ... Each of Souray's team-leading five goals have come on the power play.

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