O’Reilly’s first career goal lifts Avs over Habs
MONTREAL – Ryan O’Reilly scored his first NHL goal 13:47 into the third to help the Colorado Avalanche beat Montreal 3-2 on Thursday night, spoiling the Canadiens’ 100th home opener.
O’Reilly, an 18-year-old chosen 33rd overall by Colorado in the June draft at the Bell Centre, got his own rebound and put a shot past Carey Price to give Colorado its third straight victory.
Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots, including a furious flurry by Montreal in the dying seconds.
Milan Hejduk and Kyle Cumiskey also scored for the Avalanche (4-1-1), who are five games into a seven-game trip, Colorado’s longest of the season.
Roman Hamrlik and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who have lost four straight since opening the season with a pair of overtime wins.
Plekanec drew Montreal even at 2 when he took Andrei Kostitsyn’s centering pass and put a shot through Anderson’s pads 8:26 into the third.
The Canadiens, who celebrated their 100th season last year, did not play any games in 2004-05, when the league’s schedule was ultimately canceled because of a work stoppage.
Price, who faced the Avalanche for the first time, stopped 20 shots. He debuted a new mask featuring six “Ace of Spades” cards, yet he was decidedly unlucky in the second.
Cumiskey got credit for his first goal since January 2007 as Colorado banked in two shots off Montreal defensemen in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
Hejduk drew the Avalanche even at 1 during 4-on-4 play 13:39 into the middle period. He got credit for his second goal of the season 10 seconds after Plekanec was sent off for cross-checking when his shot struck Josh Gorges’ left skate, sending the puck skidding slowly between Price’s pads and into the net.
Price had little chance on Colorado’s second goal at 19:32. Cumiskey’s shot from the left side struck Shawn Belle, who was called up from Hamilton of the AHL on Tuesday, and caromed past Price to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead with 28 seconds left in the second.
Hamrlik scored his second goal of the season on a power play midway through the first. Canadiens forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Plekanec exchanged the puck in the right corner and Plekanec moved up to feed a centering pass to Hamrlik in the slot, who put a shot along the ice into the open left side.
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