Two goals by Iginla give Avalanche win
Forward breaks third-period tie against Canadiensby Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent
DENVER -- Jarome Iginla scored his second goal of the game with 2:03 remaining in the third period to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
Iginla was in front of the net when he put Mikhail Grigorenko's pass behind goalie Ben Scrivens for his 17th goal of the season and 606th of his NHL career.
"[Grigorenko] saw me, there was great poise there, just to wait a little bit so the goalie slides a little more and then it's a wide-open net, and he put a nice one in there," Iginla said. "You dream of those open nets late. It was a gutsy win for us."
Grigorenko started the play when he knocked the puck away from Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban inside the Avalanche blue line. Subban fell, and Grigorenko skated into the Montreal zone, passed to Matt Duchene and accepted a return pass on the left side before setting up Iginla.
"I was just trying to keep pressure on Subban," Grigorenko said. "I was pressuring him and trying to get my stick on the puck. I was successful and he tripped. I was just thinking, 'Keep skating, keep skating,' and then I saw [Duchene] had more speed, so I gave it to him. I just kept skating as hard as I can and tried to get open. When the puck was coming to me, I thought I was probably going to pass it. I was waiting for the [defenseman] to turn his stick so I could slide it (by him). I knew Jarome was there."
The Avalanche (30-26-4) were 0-3-1 in their four previous home games and 2-4-1 since the NHL All-Star break.
Video: MTL@COL: Iginla ties the game on power play
"We needed to get back on the winning side, and being at home we needed to build something again," Iginla said. "These games are going to go fast."
The Canadiens (27-27-4) lost all three games of their road trip and have lost seven of their past 10.
Montreal coach Michel Therrien said he was pleased with the Canadiens' effort but he was upset with Subban for losing the puck.
"We played hard, I thought we played a really solid game," Therrien said. "It's too bad that an individual mistake cost the game, late in the game. If you look at the effort, there's a lot of positive. I thought he could've [made] a better decision at the blue line. He moved the puck behind and he put himself in a tough position."
Subban said he probably lost an edge.
"I just remember my feet coming out from under me," he said. "[Grigorenko] didn't really push me. I'm pretty strong on the puck on those situations. My feet came out from under me. Usually if I feel a guy on me, at that point, I just put it in deep. I didn't really feel him, crossed over and lost an edge."
The Avalanche tied the game 2-2 at 16:46 of the second period on a power-play goal by Iginla. Duchene won a faceoff in the right circle and slid the puck back to Tyson Barrie, who fed Iginla at the left point for a one-timer. He has four goals and five assists in the past seven games.
The goal came a little less than three minutes after Iginla converted a rebound of Erik Johnson's point shot, only to be penalized for knocking down Scrivens. The Avalanche argued that Canadiens defenseman Greg Pateryn bumped Iginla into Scrivens.
"I thought I was out of the crease," Iginla said. "I was surprised to get a penalty, but what a big kill by the guys. That's a big swing. You go from thinking you might have scored to being in the penalty box."
Video: MTL@COL: Varlamov stuffs Canadiens on power play
Johnson scored a shorthanded goal at 3:31 of the second period to tie the game 1-1. Gabriel Landeskog led a rush and passed back to Johnson, who shot the puck by Scrivens' right arm for his ninth goal.
"He made me a really good pass," Johnson said. "My initial thought was to pass it across to [John Mitchell] driving to the net hard, which created the whole space for me. I didn't see a lane to pass and I picked my spot."
Lars Eller scored for Montreal at 6:38 of the second. Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov went behind the net to retrieve the puck and attempted to clear it into the corner. Max Pacioretty beat Barrie to the puck and passed to Eller in front for a point-blank shot and his 10th goal.
Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov made it 1-0 at 7:40 of the first period. Tomas Plekanec led a 3-on-2 rush into the Avalanche end and passed back to Markov for his fourth goal.
"It's a good win for us," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "The good thing is winning a game without having our A game, that's what I like about it. I know we can play better, we just found a way to score that big goal."