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Jaroslav Halak stops 46 shots as Canadiens snap seven-game skid against Avs

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DENVER - Jaroslav Halak made 46 saves and Andrei Kostitsyn scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:16 remaining to help the Montreal Canadiens snap a seven-game road losing skid with a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

Defencemen Francis Bouillon and Patrice Brisebois scored for Montreal, along with Tom Kostopoulos, who added an empty-net goal with 24.5 seconds remaining as he batted a puck out of the zone and into the net from his knees.

Jordan Leopold and Tyler Arnason scored for Colorado, which has dropped four straight.

Arnason tied it at two on a power-play goal midway through the third period.

However, Kostitsyn broke free from the Avalanche defence and pushed a shot under Peter Budaj's pads for his 19th goal of the season.

The Habs hadn't had much luck in the Mile High City until Friday night, ending a seven-game winless streak. Montreal's last win in Denver was more than 27 years ago against the Colorado Rockies, who later became the New Jersey Devils.

Bouillon and Brisebois scored 57 seconds apart in the opening period, staking the Canadiens to an early lead.

After going 16 games without a goal, Bouillon has scored in two straight contests. His goal was set up by a pinpoint cross-ice pass from Max Pacioretty.

Brisebois, a former Avalanche player, beat Budaj with a wrist shot from the left circle 20 seconds into a power play. Colorado had killed 17 straight penalties before Brisebois' blast.

With his two assists against Colorado, Saku Koivu has 436 in his career, moving him past Yvan Cournoyer for sixth place on Montreal's career assist list.

The Avalanche certainly weren't hurting for opportunities in the opening period as Wojtek Wolski and Cody McLeod each broke into the clear, only to be stuffed by Halak.

Cody McCormick later had a breakaway chance, but suffered a similar fate.

Montreal was without forward Tomas Plekanec as he served the first of a two-game suspension for tripping Edmonton defenceman Denis Grebeshkov from behind in Wednesday's game.

Plekanec, who was suspended without pay, is eligible to return Feb. 18 at Washington.

Although this was the 5,998th game in Habs history, it was only the second time the team has played a regular-season game on Friday the 13th. The team is now 2-0 on the superstitious date.

Notes: Montreal recalled F Kyle Chipchura from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League before the game. ... Altitude Sports and Entertainment, which televises Avalanche games, broadcast the second period Friday night in black and white to commemorate the Canadiens' 100th season in the NHL. ... Colorado D Adam Foote (triceps) and F Paul Stastny (broken forearm) were on the ice during the morning skate, both edging closer to a return. Foote has missed the last 17 games while Stastny has been out 22. ... The Canadiens played in Denver for the first time in more than three years.

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