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Mar 26, 2024 11:52 pm

Canadiens down Avalanche for rare winning streak

Canadiens, Avalanche

Nick Suzuki and Joel Armia scored goals, Sam Montembeault made 27 saves and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Avalanche 2-1 in Denver on Tuesday, ending Colorado’s nine-game winning streak.

The Canadiens (27-32-12, 66 points) have won consecutive games for the first time since winning two straight in mid-January, a stretch that included a 4-3 home win over the Avalanche on Jan. 15.

Nathan MacKinnon scored and Justus Annunen turned away 25 shots after signing a two-year contract extension with Colorado (46-21-5, 97 points) earlier in the day. Annunen’s deal will keep him with the Avalanche through the 2025-26 season.

Montreal head coach Martin St. Louis returned to the bench after a four-game leave. St. Louis was away to be with his family after his 16-year-old son, Mason, had complications stemming from an injury sustained during a youth hockey game.

MacKinnon extended two point streaks with his 45th goal 43 seconds into the game. He has one registered a point in 35 straight home games, second longest in NHL history to Wayne Gretzky’s 40-game streak in 1988-89, and he has a 19-game point streak overall.

He is the first player in NHL history to have two point streaks of 19 or more games in one season.

MacKinnon scored on the first shot of the game, giving him his 123rd point to tie Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov for the NHL scoring lead.

Montreal got even just nine seconds later when Suzuki got behind the defense and beat Annunen through the pads for his 29th of the season.

The Canadiens went ahead late in the first period when Annunen lost sight of the puck near the right post after a save. Armia scooped it up, skated behind the net and stuffed the puck inside the left post at 14:53.

It was his 12th of the season.

The Avalanche’s comeback hopes were thwarted by Sean Walker’s double minor for high sticking at 14:57 of the third. Annunen came off for an extra skater with 40 seconds remaining, but Colorado couldn’t tie the game.

–Field Level Media

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