MONTREAL (AP) — Joel Armia scored late in the third period and the Montreal Canadiens edged the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Monday night.

Cole Caufield had a goal and assist, Juraj Slafkovsky and Rafael Harvey-Pinard also scored and Nick Suzuki pitched in with two assists for Montreal. Jake Allen stopped 32 shots to snap a three-game Canadiens winless streak.

Cale Makar — with a goal and two assists — Devon Toews and Ross Colton scored for Colorado, which had won 12 of its last 15 games.

The team’s play fell well below its standard, according to Toews.

“Average,” he said. “A lot of average from us tonight. Not good enough. We have such a high standard on this team. A lot of teams would be happy being in a one-goal game, not us, we gotta drive the play a bit more.”

Nathan MacKinnon had one assist for Colorado to extend his point streak to eight games and increase his total to 70, two back of Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov for the league lead.

Alexandar Georgiev made 30 saves in Colorado’s net.

After Allen made a couple big saves off MacKinnon to keep the score 3-3, Armia battled for the loose puck in front of the net and buried an unassisted backhand goal with 4:10 left in the game.

“I think he’s having fun, he’s smiling, and playing some really good hockey right now,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “What we want for Army is that consistency, and we’re getting that right now and hope it keeps going.”

The Avalanche pulled their goalie for a frantic couple minutes with the extra attacker, but couldn’t score a fourth past Allen.

Tied 2-2 after 40 minutes, Caufield gave Montreal its first lead with his team-leading 13th of the season 1:52 into the third off a sharp-angle shot on the power play.

Colorado’s Toews tied it again at 9:37 with a one-timer during 4-on-4 play, with Mikko Rantanen extending his point streak to eight games with an assist on the goal.

Colton opened the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal at 4:28 after multiple whacks at the puck in front of the net. Former Hab Jonathan Drouin, in his first game against the Canadiens since joining the Avalanche, earned an assist on the goal.

Slafkovsky responded with his fifth of the season and first in 10 games by burying a rebound of his own on the Canadiens’ power play after a set up by captain Suzuki. The 19-year-old Slafkovsky registered five shots in the first 20 minutes.

“I always want to shoot, and today I was finally shooting, so that’s good,” Slafkovsky said with a laugh.

Drouin received a loud round of applause and saluted the fans during a video tribute at the first commercial break of his Bell Centre return, but was otherwise jeered every time he touched the puck.

“It was fun, it was special,” said Drouin. “I tried to keep myself from shedding some tears, when you’ve spent six years here, there were highs and lows, but there were a lot of people who supported me.”


Avalanche: Visit the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Canadiens: Open a three-game road trip Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils.


What to Read Next

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.