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Roy facing Canadiens as Avalanche coach

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- A two-time Stanley Cup champion goalie with the Montreal Canadiens, Patrick Roy will face his former team for the first time as Colorado Avalanche coach Saturday at Pepsi Center.

"I've been saying to everybody, it's just another game, but deep inside I guess it's not," Roy said Saturday morning. "It's always special playing against a former team. But I have so much respect for them. Things are so much different than when I was traded."

Roy left Montreal on bad terms when he was traded to the Avalanche on Dec. 6, 1995. He helped the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup championships before retiring after the 2002-03 season. The Avalanche retired his No. 33 jersey in October 2003 and the Canadiens did the same five years later.

"I'm so happy to have a good relationship with the Montreal Canadiens," Roy said. "When they retired my jersey, I appreciated that. It was great for me to see my jersey there. I was happy that (Canadiens general manager) Marc Bergevin gave me a call. I respect him a lot the way he handled the situation. Even now I speak to him on the phone here and there but always with a lot of respect."

The Avalanche will take a five-game winning streak and an 11-1-0 record into the game after they retire former defenseman Adam Foote's No. 52 jersey.

"It means a lot and I'm so happy for him," Roy said. "He's a player I enjoyed seeing playing in front of me. I enjoyed every game. He was a warrior for us. He was playing against the top line every night. He battled, he competed. We had no doubt every night that he would perform at a high level."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will start in goal for the Avalanche in his first home appearance of the season. Giguere has won all three of his starts with two shutouts, an 0.67 goals-against average and .981 save percentage.

Left wing Cody McLeod will return to the Avalanche lineup after serving a five-game suspension for a hit against Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall on Oct. 17.

Former Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj will start in goal for the Canadiens. Budaj, who spent six seasons in Colorado, has a 2-0-0 record with one shutout, an 0.50 goals-against average and .982 save percentage.

Forward Max Pacioretty will be back in the Canadiens lineup after missing nine games because of a hamstring injury. Pacioretty was injured in an Oct. 15 game against the Winnipeg Jets.

"I've been feeling 100 percent for around a week now," he said. "I'm ready to play my game."

Each team had an optional skate Saturday after playing a road game Friday night. The Avalanche defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime; the Canadiens lost 4-3 to the Minnesota Wild.

Here are the projected lineups for Montreal and Colorado:


Michael Bournival -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brian Gionta

Alex Galchenyuk -- Lars Eller -- Brendan Gallagher

Max Pacioretty -- David Desharnais -- Rene Bourque

Louis Leblanc -- Ryan White -- Mike Blunden

Andrei Markov -- P.K. Subban

Josh Gorges -- Raphael Diaz

Douglas Murray -- Francis Bouillon

Peter Budaj

Carey Price

Scratched: George Parros, Greg Pateryn

Injured: Daniel Briere (concussion), Davis Drewiske (shoulder), Alexei Emelin (knee), Travis Moen (face), Brandon Prust (shoulder)


Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- PA Parenteau

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tanguay

John Mitchell -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Maxime Talbot

Cody McLeod -- Marc-Andre Cliche -- Patrick Bordeleau

Andre Benoit -- Cory Sarich

Jan Hejda -- Erik Johnson

Ryan Wilson -- Nate Guenin

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Tyson Barrie, Nick Holden, Jamie McGinn

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