MONTREAL--It didn't take Gabriel Landeskog very long to get his scoring touch back in his return to the lineup.
The Colorado Avalanche captain scored 12:57 into the contest after missing the previous 16 games to help his team defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at Bell Centre on Thursday.
He recorded three goals and four assists in 11 games to start the season, but Landeskog hadn't played since Oct. 26. He suffered a lower-body injury before that contest, but the ailment didn't reveal itself until further examination following practice the next day.
Colorado dropped its first three matchups without the captain in its lineup but went 9-3-0 in the next 13. Coming into the game in Montreal, the Avalanche had won four in a row, a streak Landeskog wanted to help extend.
"I was even nervous about not getting back in the lineup, the boys were so hot," said Landeskog. "But no, it is nice to get back in and get a win right away. It has been a good road trip so far, excited to get to Boston and get a day off tomorrow and rest up and then back to work on Saturday."
Video: COL@MTL: Landeskog nets sweet goal in first game back
He scored his marker after he collected the puck at center ice from Mikko Rantanen as he was starting a shift and powered to the net and shot far-side to record his fourth goal of the season.
Landeskog finished the game with three hits, a plus-1 rating and a career-high 11 faceoff wins in 18:34 of ice time in addition to his tally.
"I thought Landy was great for his first game back and missing as much time as he has. He has been working hard off the ice, credit to him and Shawn Allard, our skills coach," said Avs head coach Jared Bednar after the win. "They have been on the ice a lot and pushing him in the gym, and [strength and conditioning coach] Casey [Bond] pushing him in the gym. He has been doing the work, so he comes back ready to help. I know he was hungry to play tonight, and he makes an impact right away, gets us the second goal."
Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar after the win in Montreal
Landeskog wasn't the only one to return to the lineup in Montreal though. Fellow Swede Andre Burakovsky was also back in game action after recovering from an upper-body injury for the past three games.
Colorado has seen its share of injuries throughout the first two months of the campaign, but its injured list is starting to get shorter. Rantanen returned to game action on Nov. 30 after missing 16 games with a lower-body ailment and Matt Calvert returned on Wednesday at the Toronto Maple Leafs following a six-game absence with a head injury.
"We are getting healthier, guys are coming back, but throughout this stretch, throughout this whole month of November and just playing through injuries, next man up mentality, we talk about it all the time," Landeskog said of his team. "It is the way it has to be. Everybody is going through injuries at some point and for us, we would rather go through it early. Guys that have come up from the American League or have been healthy scratches and then get back in the lineup have done really well and made an impact for us.
"Guys have stepped up and also I feel like we are fine-tuning our game and getting sharper in a lot of areas. Playing simple, simplifying our game and things like that."
Video: Gabe Landeskog returns from his injury
Colorado's current five-game win streak, which matches the team's season high that was set from Oct. 3-14 at the start of the season, has helped it improve to 18-8-2 (38 points) in 2019-20 and move into second place in the Central Division standings.
"As soon as you get in the lineup and you get the game jersey on, you are just playing," said Landeskog. "I've been out for almost six weeks, so by the time you get back you are fresh to play and it is not going to bug you. Felt good, want to make an impact. Always nice to score."
His next chance will be when the Avs wrap up their three-game trip at the Boston Bruins on Saturday.