MacKinnon scores 2 to lead Avalanche past Canadiens 6-1
MONTREAL (AP) It was all smiles and energy in the Colorado Avalanche dressing room after blowing out one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Nathan MacKinnon scored twice 13 seconds apart in Colorado's three-goal first period as the Avalanche jumped on a shaky Mike Condon to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 on Saturday night.
''Winning on Saturday night at the Bell Centre is a lot of fun,'' MacKinnon said.
Mikhail Grigorenko, filling in on the top line for the suspended Gabriel Landeskog, had a goal and set up both of MacKinnon's scores. Reto Berra stopped 39 shots.
Blake Comeau, Matt Duchene and John Mitchell also scored for Colorado, which has won the first three on a six-game road trip.
''Three straight for us is huge,'' MacKinnon said. ''I don't know about (calling it) a measuring stick.
''I don't think we're in the elite category in the league yet. We want to earn that. But whether they had a good night or not, we played very well. We stuck to our system and Reto Berra played great.''
Duchene, the subject of trade rumors as the road trip began, also had two assists to give him eight points on the trip.
''I'm excited,'' he said. ''Hopefully it continues (in Toronto on Tuesday). ... I have a lot of friends and family coming, so it'd be great to have a big night there, and most importantly get another win.''
Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which ended a six-game points streak and lost at home in regulation for the first time this season (7-1-1).
Condon gave up four goals on 11 shots. Dustin Tokarski took over for the third period and stopped 11 of 13 shots he faced.
''We're not going to start blaming anyone,'' Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. ''Condon's been very good for us since the start of the season.
''It was a tough night, but these things happen in a season. After two periods, we were outshooting them 32-11 and they were leading 4-1. It was one of those nights.''
Grigorenko, with his first for the Avalanche, was left alone in front to take a pass from Duchene and score only 3:26 into the game.
A puck squirted to MacKinnon alone in front and he scored from close range with 1:35 left in the opening period. Only 13 seconds later, MacKinnon took a feed from Grigorenko on a rush down the left side and placed a gentle backhand over Condon's shoulder to the top corner.
The Bell Centre crowd came to life when Gallagher batted his own rebound past Berra 8:48 into the second, but Condon let in a short-handed backbreaker with just over 7 minutes left in the period when Comeau's harmless-looking shot from the right side got between his pads. It was Comeau's first of the season.
Duchene got his eighth of the season as he popped a shot to the top of the net from the doorstep on a power play with 8:55 left in the third. Mitchell was alone in front to score into an open side about 3 minutes later.
NOTES: Landeskog will also sit out for Colorado on Tuesday in Toronto. Dennis Everberg moved into the lineup. ... With Alexei Emelin out with a lower body injury, Greg Pateryn saw his first action of the season for Montreal. It was the first game missed due to injury by a Canadiens defenseman this season. ... Alex Semin returned to the Canadiens' lineup replacing Paul Byron after sitting out seven games. ... As in other NHL rinks, a minute's silence was held before the game and the crowd gave a rousing ovation for the La Marseillaise in support of victims of attacks Friday in Paris.