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On The Road: Game Day In Montreal

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche is on a 15-day, seven-game road trip out east, tied for the longest such roadie for the club since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995. Colorado's last seven-game trip was Oct. 8-21, 2009. is blogging about the team's events during its two weeks away from the Mile High City.

10:00 a.m.

After most of the team had the day off on Friday, all the players headed to the rink to take part in a morning skate practice. The majority of the club took the fist bus to the rink at 9:15 a.m., while the rest loaded up on the second bus at 10 a.m.

It was just a short bus ride from the team's downtown hotel to Bell Centre, where the Avs would go through their morning routine of stretching, stick preparation and getting any work done in the training room before practice.

11:30 a.m.

The Avalanche's morning session begins and lasts about 30 minutes. Mikhail Grigorenko was on the top scoring line with Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon during practice, and head coach Patrick Roy confirmed afterward that the trio would be together for that night's game.

Grigorenko played a bit with Duchene and MacKinnon in the previous contest on Thursday in Boston after Gabriel Landeskog was ejected for an illegal hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.

Roy is still a popular figure in Montreal, the city where he played the majority of this career and won two Stanley Cups with the Canadiens. He did his pregame media scrum outside the Avalanche locker room in both English and French with many members of the local and national Canadian press present.

The Canadiens did not hold a morning skate on Saturday.

Read more about Grigorenko's promotion and Avs morning skate.

4:30 p.m.

After a pregame meal and nap, the second bus leaves the hotel for Bell Centre. Due to the close proximity from the hotel to the arena, it only takes a few minutes for the bus to get to the rink. The first bus only left 30 minutes earlier; it usually departs 45 minutes to an hour before the second one.

7:16 p.m.

The puck drops at Bell Centre after the pregame festivities. The Canadiens held a moment of silence for those affected by the terrorist attacks in France on Friday, and the French national anthem was played before the U.S. and Canada renditions.

Colorado jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and went on to win 6-1. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice in 13 seconds in the first period, and Mikhail Grigorenko and Blake Comeau picked up their first goals as members of the Avalanche. Matt Duchene and John Mitchell also found the back of the net, while Reto Berra made 39 saves to help the Avs win their third straight game of the road trip.

The line of Duchene, Grigorenko and MacKinnon finished the night with nine total points-three each. Grigorenko had a career-high with his three points, while Duchene kept his hot hand on the scoresheet. He now has eight points (four goals and four assists) through the first three contests of the seven-game trek and has recorded 12 points (seven goals and five assists) in his last seven outings.

Montreal outshot Colorado 18-8 in the first period, but MacKinnon's two goals late in the stanza was a momentum changer for the Avalanche.

Read more about MacKinnon's tallies and the Avalanche's victory.

11:24 p.m.

The Avs' charter flight takes off from Montreal and heads south to Toronto, where the team will spend the next few days in preparation for Tuesday's game against the Maple Leafs.

12:18 a.m.

The team arrives in Toronto and heads to its downtown hotel to rest up for the night. Sunday is a pre-scheduled off day for the team so the players should be fairly fresh and ready to go for Monday's practice at Air Canada Centre.

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