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COL@MTL: Sixty-minute effort

The Canadiens put two more points in the bank on Saturday night with a complete effort from start to finish

by Olivier Beauregard. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski. @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - The Canadiens offered up a tremendous effort in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche at the Bell Centre on Saturday night.

Fans had to be patient for Claude Julien's contingent to break through, though.

It wasn't until defenseman Brett Kulak scored a short-handed goal at the 8:21 mark of the third period that a shot found the back of the net.

Then, Jesperi Kotkaniemi added his fifth goal of the season just 2:18 later to put the Habs up by a pair.

Lighting the lamp was a relief for Kotkaniemi, who snapped a 12-game goal drought.

"I hadn't scored in a while, so it did some good," mentioned the 18-year-old Finnish centerman.

Jordie Benn capped the scoring with an empty-netter.

Video: Habs score three in the 3rd as Price earns shutout

For his part, Julien was extremely pleased with the way his troops went about their business against Colorado.

"We wanted to play a full 60 minutes, and that's exactly what we did. We wanted to take time and space away from a team that capitalizes on those types of situations. I think we did a good job with that as well. We had a good game from start to finish," mentioned Julien. "The guys skated tonight. It took some time to score, but that's the way things are in the League right now. We had chances and their goalie did his job."

The players shared similar thoughts as well.

"We gave a good effort for 60 minutes. We generated offense in the third period. That's how we wanted to play," said Jonathan Drouin, who collected an assist on Kotkaniemi's goal.

"It was a good game tonight. We brought a lot of energy. We could've scored earlier in the game, but we continued to work and we won," said captain Shea Weber. 

Video: Shea Weber on the victory over Colorado

No power play goals, but…

Even if Julien's squad went 0-for-3 while up a man, the consensus inside the locker room was that the power play served an important role in the win.

"I think that the power play did a good job. It gave us a lot of rhythm. We worked really hard tonight on the power play and even if we didn't score, we still made the most of our chances," explained Phillip Danault, who picked up his 22nd and 23rd assists of the season on Saturday night.

"You want the line heading out there after the power play to capitalize on some momentum. That's what we did tonight," added Drouin.

Praise for Victor Mete

After the game, defenseman Victor Mete received his fair share of praise from his teammates.

The 20-year-old logged nearly 19 minutes of ice time while going up against the most productive line in the NHL.

"He skated well with the puck, just like he always does. He also contributed by putting the puck on net. It was a good game for him," affirmed Weber, who played alongside Mete at even-strength. 

"He was excellent. He seemed very confident tonight. He communicates well and uses his strong skating ability to put himself in good situations," explained Carey Price.

Video: COL@MTL: Price stops 28 shots to shut out the Avs

Julien was also a big fan of Mete's performance on Saturday night.

"He was good because he picked up pucks well and closed plays down, too," said Julien. "He did good work." 

The Canadiens will travel to Boston on Sunday before battling the Bruins on Monday night. They'll be back in action at the Bell Centre on Tuesday when they play host to the Florida Panthers.

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