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Artturi Lehkonen scores 2 as Colorado Avalanche beat Montreal Canadiens 8-4

Artturi Lehkonen scored twice in Colorado's four-goal first period, and the Avalanche beat the Montreal Canadiens 8-4 Monday night.

Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and two assists, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, and Nathan MacKinnon, J.T. Compher, Matt Nieto and Bowen Byram also scored for the Avalanche, who won for the third time in four games.

Cale Makar had three assists, and Devon Toews and Logan O'Connor each had two. Alexandar Georgiev finished with 15 saves.

"I thought the pace that we played with in the first period and the execution was phenomenal," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "Not that we created a ton of chances but the chances that we did create were good ones and our guys did a nice job capitalizing on some nice moves and some good shots."

Josh Anderson had a goal and an assist, and Chris Wideman, Mike Matheson and Denis Gurianov also scored as the Canadiens lost their seventh straight (0-5-2). Nick Suzuki had two assists.

Jake Allen started in goal and was pulled early in the second quarter after giving up six goals on 15 shots. Sam Montembault came on and finished with 16 saves.

"I think our group has played very hard in a very hard, heavy schedule and they've been engaged," Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. "Tonight wasn't our best but I'm just going to move on and focus on (Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh)."

Lehkonen, Byram and Nieto scored 5:06 apart to give the Avalanche a 3-0 lead a little more than eight minutes into the game. Lehkonen converted on a power play for his second of the night and 20th of the season with four minutes left in the first to make it 4-0.

It was also the 100th career goal for the forward traded from Montreal to Colorado a year ago.

"One hundred goals for him, that's a big accolade to have," O'Connor said. "Two (goals) in front of the net tonight, coming back to Montreal for the first time, it's definitely a special night for him so it's awesome to see."

His first goal came moments after a video tribute, and Canadiens fans erupted in response.

"Everybody loves him. He's such an awesome dude and a great friend," Makar said. "I don't know if I've ever heard a fan base cheer for one guy on another team when he scores. So that was a pretty cool experience."

Anderson deflected Johnathan Kovacevic's shot past Georgiev to get Montreal on the scoreboard with 1:02 left in the opening period. It was his 20th.

"The good thing about the first is we stopped the bleeding at the end," St. Louis said. "We got a late one, it gave us a little life and we showed them a couple of things that can help us and why we were hurting ourselves."

Rantanen scored his 43 and Compher had his 14th to push Colorado's lead to 6-1 at 3:58 of the second, ending Allen's night.

Gurianov had a power-play goal with 42 seconds left in the middle period to pull the Canadiens within four.

MacKinnon scored his 29th for the Avalanche's second of three power-play goals of the game to make it 7-2 at 8:09 of the third.

Wideman scored his first of the season 39 seconds later and Matheson got his sixth with 9:25 left to cut Montreal's deficit to three.

Nichushkin deflected Makar's point shot from between the circles down out of the air and past Montembault with 6:51 remaining.


Lehkonen's night came to a bitter end when he left 12:57 into the second period.

Bednar said the forward broke a finger while taking a shot to the hand.

"He'll leave (Tuesday) from Toronto to head back and then follow up with surgery the next day," Bednar said.


Avalanche: At Toronto on Wednesday night in the second of a four-game trip.

Canadiens: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game trip.

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