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Subban's two goals help Canadiens edge Avalanche

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens killed penalties with emphasis Saturday, and P.K. Subban delivered the exclamation point.

Subban scored twice in the second period, the latter on a spectacular individual effort, to lead Montreal to a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Bell Centre.

Subban came out of the penalty box and scored a highlight-reel goal to put the Canadiens up 3-1 late in the second after scoring a power-play goal earlier in the period to tie it 1-1.

Alex Galchenyuk, who assisted on Subban's first goal, scored a goal after coming out of the penalty box to give Montreal a 2-1 lead.

On his second goal of the game, Subban stayed onside after coming out of the penalty box to chase down a puck on the left side of the Colorado zone. Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie fell against the left side of the net and Subban carried the puck behind and around back out front.

Finding himself alone as Nick Holden pursued Montreal's Lars Eller, Subban deked around rookie goalie Calvin Pickard to stuff the puck inside the right post at 17:59.

"As soon as I turned around the net, I was looking for Lars," Subban said. "I knew he was coming and I looked for him right away and the defenseman had taken him out, so I was just really in tight with the goalie, I tried to make a move and hopefully he bit on it, and before I knew it I just had an open net so I just put it in."

Carey Price stopped 32 shots for the Canadiens, who improved to 5-1-0 despite allowing the opening goal for a fifth straight game.

"I thought tonight was probably our best game of the six," Price said. "We played a pretty complete package tonight. We would not have liked to give up the goal in the last three minutes, but overall we've got to be pretty happy with that effort."

Pickard made 33 saves in his first NHL start.

"It was crazy," Pickard said. "Playing at the Bell Centre, coming out to that music … you watch it on TV all the time [and] it's special. And to be in the net starting at the other end against Carey Price, it's a pretty cool feeling."

The 22-year-old rookie, who lost his second game in a row, made his debut Thursday after Reto Berra was injured early in the first period of a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Matt Duchene got credit for his 10th shot of the game when he deflected Jarome Iginla's shot from the right side past Price at 17:29 of the third to pull the Avalanche within one.

Alex Tanguay scored at 2:23 of the first for Colorado, which fell to 1-4-1.

Duchene missed an opportunity to put the Avalanche up by two when he ripped a shot off the left post on Colorado's first power play in the first.

"[Price] played a great game, he made some big saves," Duchene said. "But that one, the toe save, I've got to lift that. If I lift that eight inches, it's in the net. I got the one at the end there but it was a little too late. It's too bad I couldn't find one of those earlier in the game."

Colorado went 0-for-4 on the power play.

The Canadiens allowed the first goal for a fifth straight game and have trailed in every game this season.

Subban drove a slap shot past Pickard from the top of the left faceoff circle to draw Montreal even at 4:13 of the second.

"At the end of the day, it's not about scoring first," Subban said. "I think it's about generating momentum, and hopefully that leads to having success early in the game. But for us it's about doing the right things and I think we played the right way.

"We're moving pucks up, we're hard on each other; we're holding each other accountable. We come in the room and when guys are taking penalties, guys are telling me or I'm telling guys, 'Let's be disciplined, let's make sure we get pucks in and pucks out.' I think that's a good thing about a team. When you have that accountability, you're gonna go far."

Pickard, who denied Max Pacioretty on a breakaway midway through the first, stopped 25 of the first 26 shots he faced through the first 27:58.

"They were kind of throwing every puck at the net, and it was nice for me to feel the puck quite a bit in the first half of the game," Pickard said.

Montreal scored on its next two shots, which came 6:36 apart, with both goals scored by a player who exited the penalty box.

Galchenyuk put the Canadiens up 2-1 with his second goal at 11:23.

After serving a slashing penalty, Galchenyuk stepped back on the ice and stripped Nathan MacKinnon of the puck in the neutral zone. Galchenyuk drove to the net, took a return pass from Brandon Prust and beat Pickard for his second goal.

Montreal didn't get its next shot until after killing a holding penalty to Subban at 15:47.

"You see him on TV all the time," Pickard said. "He's a special talent, and you saw that on the third goal. He dangled me pretty good. You've got to be aware of those guys on the ice."

Despite the loss, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was more than satisfied with Pickard's effort.

"He's the reason why we had a chance to come back in that game," Roy said. "I thought both goaltenders were outstanding, Carey Price made several good saves. In the second period we had about 10 good scoring chances, and of the 10, seven of them missed the net. We're going to have to be a little bit better around the net, put more pucks on net and make the goalie work a bit more."

Tanguay scored for a second game in a row to give Colorado the lead at 2:23 of the first, finishing off a return pass from John Mitchell with a shot into a wide-open net.

Price, who improved to 4-1-0, had allowed at least three goals in each of his first four starts.

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