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game recap

Landeskog scores in return, Avalanche top Canadiens to win fifth in row

Primeau makes 32 saves in NHL debut for Montreal

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Landeskog's crafty tally

COL@MTL: Landeskog nets sweet goal in first game back

Gabriel Landeskog powers on net and beats a defender before sliding the puck home to extend the lead to 2-0 in his first game back from injury

  • 00:42 •

MONTREAL -- Gabriel Landeskog scored in his return, and the Colorado Avalanche held on for their fifth straight win, 3-2 against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Landeskog gave Colorado a 2-0 lead at 12:57 of the first period when he swept around Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry to score his first goal since Oct. 19. He missed 16 games because of a lower-body injury.

"He looked so good tonight," Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon said. "It's awesome to have him back, and it adds to our depth. We didn't have our absolute best tonight, but we're so deep and so talented that we got the win."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Canadiens highlights]

 

Pavel Francouz made 38 saves for Colorado (18-8-2), including a blocker save on Artturi Lehkonen's one-timer at 13:11 of the third. He made 17 saves in the period when the Avalanche were outshot 18-7. 

"That's [Francouz], we know how good he is," said Landeskog, the Avalanche captain. "I don't think the rest of the League does, but we're confident in him, and ultimately we would like to make it easier on our goalies."

Matt Calvert had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Graves scored for the Avalanche, who won 3-1 at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

Video: COL@MTL: Calvert converts Compher's feed for SHG

Cayden Primeau made 32 saves in his NHL debut, and Brendan Gallagher and Nick Cousins scored for Montreal (12-11-6), which is 1-6-3 in its past 10 games.

"That top line (Joonas Donskoi, MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen) is really fast," said Primeau, the son of former NHL forward Keith Primeau. "I mean their whole team is really fast, but they've definitely got some fast guys up front. That's what I felt was the biggest adjustment."

Graves scored the first of two first-period goals against Primeau when he drove to the net and put in a loose puck at 6:13.

Video: COL@MTL: Graves drives on net, puts away rebound

"You could tell [Primeau] was nervous in the first period," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "He'd probably like to have those two goals back. … But he made some big saves after that. The more the game went on, the more comfortable he got, the more he seemed to be confident and everything else. So I like the way he gave us a chance to get back into this game with some of the big saves he made in the second, and even in the third."

Calvert made it 3-0 with a shorthanded goal at 8:06 of the second.

Gallagher scored on his own rebound to make it 3-1 at 17:42.

Cousins cut it to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 1:23 of the third.

Video: COL@MTL: Gallagher stays with rebound, stuffs it home

 

They said it

"They earned some of those power-play chances, and [at] 6-on-5 we were just surviving. And we got a couple [of] big blocks, Ian Cole had a big block, we had a couple of good clears and guys getting sticks on pucks up at the line. At that point, you're just doing whatever you can to keep the puck out of your net. So I like what we did. We put ourselves in a position to win the game, we got some saves when we needed, so it's a good all-around effort by our team, especially on the road." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on Colorado going 2-for-3 on the penalty kill

"It's a special building, and it felt even better with the crowd, and I'm really happy we could pick up the win here." -- Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz

"We've got to get some points on the board. It's not good enough here, especially at home. You've got to take advantage of the home games." -- Canadiens forward Nick Cousins

 

Need to know

MacKinnon, who had scored a goal in five straight games, had an eight-game point streak end. ... Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury and had three shots in 12:28 of ice time. … Colorado center Nazem Kadri did not play because of a lower-body injury he sustained Wednesday. … The Avalanche have outscored opponents 22-8 during the winning streak and are 10-3-0 in their past 13 games. … Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi (upper body) left the game at 1:34 of the first period and had to be helped off after he fell backward and struck the back of his head on the ice when he was checked along the boards by Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov. He will not make the trip for the game at the New York Rangers on Friday. … Goalie Carey Price will start for Montreal at New York.

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Landeskog scores in return to lead Avalanche to win

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