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Canadiens Earn Victory in Rare Visit

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Avs Fall to Canadiens, 4-2

Tonight’s matchup was the first time Colorado and Montreal had met since an Oct. 21, 2006 contest at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

-The Avalanche’s penalty killing unit had killed off 17 consecutive power plays until Patrice Brisebois’s first-period goal. Prior to tonight’s contest, the Avs had gone five straight games without allowing a power-play goal, their longest streak of the season.

-McCormick’s assist was his first point since Dec. 9 vs. Los Angeles, when he notched a helper in a 6-1 Avalanche triumph.

-Tyler Arnason’s power-play goal in the third period was his fourth tally of the season and first since Jan. 16 vs. Edmonton.

-Colorado played on Friday the 13th for the fourth time since moving to Denver. The club held a 1-1-1 record in its previous three games on Friday the 13th, with the last contest occurring on Dec. 13, 2002, a 1-0 overtime loss in Edmonton.

-Altitude Sports and Entertainment provided “flashback coverage” during the second period of tonight’s game in celebration of Montreal’s centennial season. The middle frame was presented in black and white, with old time graphics and fewer cuts and camera angles.

Post-Game Video:
It’s not a stretch to say that Friday night marked a rare visit to Pepsi Center for the Montreal Canadiens. While the game was the 130th all-time meeting between Montreal and the Quebec/Colorado organization, the majority of those contests came when the Quebec Nordiques played in the Adams Division.

Tonight’s game marked the first meeting between the clubs at Pepsi Center in more than three years, as the Canadiens last came to the Mile High City on Jan. 11, 2006. That night, the Avalanche pulled out a 2-1 victory.

However, on Friday it was the Canadiens who returned the favor with a 4-2 win.

Montreal hadn’t had much recent success in Denver. Friday’s game marked the Canadiens’ first road win against the Avalanche, as Colorado had held a 6-0-1 record against Montreal since moving to Denver in 1995-96.

The last time the Habs had won a regular season NHL game in Denver was Feb. 6, 1982, when they defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-3 at McNichols Sports Arena. Those Rockies moved to New Jersey following the 1981-82 campaign and became the New Jersey Devils.

Six Avalanche players who suited up tonight had not yet been born when that game took place (Peter Budaj, Cody McCormick, Cody McLeod, Chris Stewart, Marek Svatos and Wojtek Wolski). And that’s not even counting T.J. Hensick (a healthy scratch tonight) and Kyle Cumiskey, David Jones and Paul Stastny, who are all on injured reserve.
McCormick Getting Offensive
While spending parts of five seasons with the Avalanche, Cody McCormick has carved out a niche as a gritty player who doesn’t hesitate to play the body and is willing to drop the gloves if the occasion calls for it. But this season, more so than ever, McCormick is showing that there’s more to his game.

The London, Ontario native played a solid all around game on Friday against Montreal and set up the Avalanche’s first goal by showcasing some of his still improving offensive skills.

McCormick carried the puck up the left wing before driving hard toward the net. Just after he reached the goal line extended, the forward chipped a backhander on net that Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak was able to stop. However, Halak couldn’t recover in time to get in front of Jordan Leopold’s rebound attempt.

The assist gave McCormick eight points (1g/7a) in 32 games this season, tying his career high for points which was previously set in 45 contests during the 2005-06 campaign (4g/4a). His seven helpers this year have topped his previous career best, also set during the 2005-06 season.
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