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On The Road: Game Day In Montreal

Avalanche finishes a back-to-back set versus the Canadiens

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche is on a three-game trip before the NHL All-Star Break over the weekend. The Avs makes their first journey to Canada with a back-to-back set against the Original Six Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens before finishing the trek in St. Louis against the division-rival Blues. is writing and taking photos of the trip.

After arriving in Montreal in the early morning hours on Tuesday following their defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Avs elected to stay at their downtown hotel instead of going to the rink for the pre-game practice.

The club's morning activities included a stretch and recovery session in one of the hotel's meeting rooms before its usual pre-game meal. The Avalanche did have a small presence at Bell Centre, as the team's injured and scratched players skated with the assistant coaches during its set ice session

Following an afternoon nap, the Avs traveled to the nearby arena for the evening's game on one of the two team buses, which departed at 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Since the Avalanche didn't hold a morning skate, some of the players had to do interviews with the media once at the rink. Among them were former Canadien and Montreal native Mark Barberio and rookie Samuel Girard, who is from Roberval, Quebec.

Girard was playing in his first NHL game in Quebec and chatted with RDS about it pregame before taking part in a media scrum.

Barberio was playing in his first contest at Bell Centre since being claimed off waivers by Colorado last season.

The Avs have three other French-Canadians on their roster in Jonathan Bernier (Laval), Gabriel Bourque (Rimouski) and A.J. Greer (Joliette). The goaltender Bernier will get the start in net in his hometown, while Greer will be a healthy scratch and will watch the contest from the press box.

However on this night, Colorado's winning streak would come to an end. The Canadiens jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then added a late empty-net tally. Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher scored for the Avalanche in the 4-2 loss.

The final game siren sounded just after 10 p.m., and the club's team buses departed Bell Centre 40 minutes later and headed to the airport. After going through customs and boarding their flight, the Avs' charter plane took off from Quebec's largest city just before 12:30 a.m. ET

It was nearly a two-and-a-half-hour flight to St. Louis, the final stop of this three-game swing for Colorado.

The Avalanche landed in the River City a little after 2 a.m. CT, and luckily for the club, it was just a short bus ride from the airport to the team's hotel.

Colorado has a pre-scheduled day off in St. Louis on Wednesday, allowing the players some time to rest and recover from their consecutive-night games and refocus on creating a new streak beginning with the Blues on Thursday.

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