|COL||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|MTL||1||0||1||(0 - 0)||2|
MONTREAL - While the Colorado Avalanche look to continue their success on the team's longest road trip of the season, the Montreal Canadiens should be glad to finally return home.
The surging Avalanche try for a third straight victory when they visit the Bell Centre for the Canadiens' home opener Thursday night.
Six months after posting the fewest points (69) since the franchise moved to Denver from Quebec in 1995, the Avalanche (4-1-1) have been one of the league's biggest surprises through the first two weeks of the season.
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Colorado improved to 2-1-1 on its seven-game road trip - the longest since the club's been in Denver - with a 4-1 win at Toronto on Tuesday. Former Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker had a goal with an assist in his first trip back to Toronto since signing with Colorado in the summer of 2008.
"To score back in a place where I've scored a number of goals over my career, it was exciting," said Tucker, who has three goals and two assists through six games after recording 16 points in 63 for the Avalanche last season.
David Jones scored in his second straight game and added an assist, while defenseman John-Michael Liles also had a goal with an assist for the Avalanche, who've recorded four goals in each of their last two contests.
Colorado, though, could be without Liles after he suffered a right shoulder injury Tuesday.
Craig Anderson could make his seventh straight start after stopping 30 shots against Toronto. A backup his previous six seasons with Chicago and Florida, Anderson has a 1.98 goals-against average this season, but is 0-2-1 with a 3.86 GAA versus the Canadiens.
Colorado is making its first visit to Montreal since losing 8-5 on Oct. 21, 2006. The Canadiens won 4-2 at Colorado on Feb. 13.
Looking to avoid a fourth straight loss, the Canadiens (2-3-0) should be well-rested after concluding their opening road swing with a 3-2 loss at Edmonton on Saturday.
"We had two good days off. You almost never get the chance to have two practices in a row before a game during the season," forward Brian Gionta told the Canadiens' official Web site.
Gionta and Roman Hamrlik scored for Montreal, which has been outscored 14-6 during its current losing skid.
The Canadiens should get a boost from finally playing at the Bell Centre, where they went 24-10-7 last season.
"It's tough to lose these last three games after having a great 2-0 start," said defenseman Paul Mara, who has four assists. "Hopefully, we can make that ground back up at home and work on all of the things we need to."
Gionta has a team-leading three goals in his first season with Montreal after spending the previous seven with New Jersey. The veteran winger has a goal with two assists in five games versus the Avalanche.
Carey Price is likely to be back in goal after making 16 saves against Edmonton. Price, who is 2-2-0 with a 3.53 GAA this season, has never faced Colorado.
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|Oct 15 '09||COL 3 at MTL 2||R. O'Reilly|