Avalanche 4, Canadiens 1

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves, Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Saturday night.
Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O'Reilly and P.A. Parenteau also scored for the Avalanche, who won their sixth straight and improved to 12-1. It's the best start in franchise history.
Peter Budaj stopped 27 shots against his former team and Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which has lost two straight.
The Canadiens had a chance to end Colorado's hot start when they tied it at 1 in the third, but two goals 3:30 apart were the difference.
MacKinnon got the tiebreaker when he backhanded a rebound high past Budaj with 11:59 left.
It was his second goal of the season and first in three weeks. O'Reilly iced it when he stole the puck from P.K. Subban and scored three minutes later to make it 3-1.
Parenteau scored into an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left.
It made a winner of Giguere, who improved to 4-0. He came into Saturday with a gaudy 0.67 goals-against-average and two shutouts. He and Budaj were locked in a scoreless battle until Landeskog struck midway through the game.
Landeskog came over the boards near the blueline, got a pass from Marc-Andre Cliche and beat Budaj with a slap shot over his stick at 11:14 of the second.
It was his fifth goal of the season and third in games in which Giguere plays. He had the only goal of the game at Pittsburgh on Oct. 21 when Giguere stopped 34 shots.
The 36-year-old Giguere was denied a shutout when Gallagher stuffed Subban's rebound between his legs for a power-play goal with 16:21 left in the third.
That snapped a streak of 22 straight penalties killed off by Colorado.
The game was chippy early, with two fights occurring in the first five minutes to set a physical tone. It helped open up the game, with both teams getting several quality chances in the first period.
NOTES: Colorado LW Alex Tanguay suffered a knee injury in the second period and did not return. ... The Avalanche retired Adam Foote's No. 52 in a pregame ceremony. Avalanche players warmed up wearing No. 52 sweaters, and the area behind both nets sported the retired number. Foote, now an assistant coach on Patrick Roy's staff, is the fifth former Avalanche player to have his jersey retired and the ninth in franchise history. ... Montreal D Andrei Markov played in his 699th career game Saturday. ... Colorado LW Cody McLeod returned from a five-game suspension for his hit on Detroit D Niklas Kronwall on Oct. 17. ... Saturday was the first time Budaj played against his former team. ... Avalanche LW Jamie McGinn missed his third game with a knee injury.

What to Read Next