After suffering a letdown in their season opener at home, the Colorado Avalanche have picked up their play during a five-game road trip.
The Montreal Canadiens are also trying to raise their game as they battle through injuries to key players.
Colorado looks to open 4-0 on the road for the first time in 26 years when it faces Montreal on Saturday night.
The Avalanche (3-1-0) looked overmatched in a 3-0 loss to Detroit on Oct. 8 but opened their trip with a 1-0 win over Boston two days later. They then beat Columbus 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday and defeated Ottawa 7-1 on Thursday.
Colorado, playing its fourth game in six days on a road swing that ends Monday against Toronto, hasn’t won its first four road games since Oct. 12-21, 1985, when the franchise was the Quebec Nordiques.
The Avalanche last won four of their first five games overall when they were 4-0 with one tie in 1997-98. They also won their first three road contests that season.
Rookie Gabriel Landeskog(notes), Matt Duchene(notes) and Milan Hejduk(notes) each had a goal and an assist Thursday as Colorado went 4 for 6 on the power play. The Avs had gone 0 for 10 in the first three games.
“It’s always important to get everyone going,” the 18-year-old Landeskog said. “(Thursday) was one of those nights where you got the bounces and gave us confidence to move forward.”
Montreal (1-2-0) is attempting to do the same, though it has been hit by a rash of health issues.
Veteran winger Michael Cammalleri(notes) will miss nearly two weeks after suffering a right leg laceration in a win over Winnipeg on Sunday, and defenseman Jaroslav Spacek(notes) will be out two to three weeks with an upper-body injury which occurred in the same game.
“We did some things right but if we’re not going to work as a team we’re going to end up losing games,” he told the team’s official website. “It creeps in and everyone is looking at himself saying ‘I have to be better’ but a lot of times it’s just about being supportive.”
“We have to play a good team game in order to be successful and we got away from that,” Gill said.