NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Montreal
(Tuesday, March 16th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Colorado 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Saku Koivu scored early in the third period to snap a tie and lead Montreal to a 4-2 win over Colorado at the Bell Centre.
Koivu, Michael Ryder, Yanic Perreault and Mike Ribeiro each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who earned their second straight victory and fifth in their last six games (5-0-0-1).
Jose Theodore made 29 saves for Montreal, which lost an early two-goal lead but rallied to move into a sixth-place tie with New Jersey in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Canadiens own the tiebreaker advantage with two more victories, but the Devils have two games in hand.
"The team has been very solid the last two games," Theodore said. "We've done a good job finishing plays, especially against Colorado."
Rob Blake and Chris Gratton both scored for the Avalanche, who lost for the first time in the last nine meetings (6-1-2) with Montreal and saw a four-game winning streak overall come to an end.
David Aebischer stopped 25 shots for Colorado, which leads the Northwest Division and remained three points behind Central-leading Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
"The fact of matter is, the Canadiens had a better power play," Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk said.
Koivu converted on the power play to put the Canadiens ahead 3-2 at 4:18 of the third period. He beat Aebischer on a high backhand shot from the slot.
Ribeiro capped the scoring on an empty-net goal with 48.8 seconds remaining in the third.
Theodore stopped all nine shots he faced in the third.
"He made some super saves," Ribeiro said.
Less than a minute into the game, Theodore stopped Gratton on a breakaway and turned aside Matthew Barnaby's rebound chance.
Montreal then scored twice midway through the first period.
Ryder cashed in a power play with 7:35 left in the first, converting on a wrist shot near the left faceoff circle.
The Canadiens took a 2-0 edge less than two minutes later on Perreault's one- timer from between the circles.
The Avalanche pulled within 2-1 on the power play with 3:06 remaining in the first. Blake scored on a one-timer from above the right faceoff circle.
Gratton forged a 2-2 tie for Colorado at 8:17 of the second period. Steve Konowalchuk and Barnaby set up his 12th goal of the season from the slot.
Early in the third period, Blake's shot from the right point hit the post behind Theodore.
Konowalchuk notched two assists for Montreal, which has won six of its last seven at home...Koivu extended his point streak to six games (three goals, 10 points)...Colorado fell to 5-2-1 in its last eight overall.
03/17 00:21:52 ET