Game Thread: Avalanche targets Habs

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The Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens meet up tonight for their lone meeting of the regular season.

The Avalanche have won their last three games, with their last being a 7-1 pounding of the Ottawa Senators. The Avs power play was 4 for 6 that night, but was 0 for 11 in their three previous games.

Semyon Varlamov will get the start, and is 3-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and .950 SvPct lifetime against the Habs. His backup, Jean-Sebastien Giguere is 7-3-1, 2.63/.913.

Colorado rookie Gabriel Landeskog has three points in his first three games. Ryan O`Byrne makes his first Bell Centre appearance since being traded to the Avalance by the Canadiens last season.

Jacques Martin continues his usual line juggling act. With the power-play struggling at 1 for 13, the Habs coach has taken Tomas Plekanec off the point on the power play.

Martin's power play combinations, during Friday's practice, were, Tomas Plekanec -David Desharnais- Max Pacioretty -Yannick Weber- P.K. Subban; Erik Cole-Scott Gomez - Brian Gionta -Alexei Emelin - Raphael Diaz.

Carey Price will get another shot at career win 100. Martin must have gone against his "hunch" theory by not starting Peter Budaj against his former team.




Travis Moen -Scott Gomez - Brian Gionta

Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Erik Cole

Andrei Kostitsyn - David Desharnais - Max Pacioretty

Mathieu Darche - Andreas Engqvist - Aaron Palushaj


Defense Pairings

Hal Gill - P.K. Subban

Josh Gorges - Raphael Diaz

Alexei Yemelin - Yannick Weber



Carey Price

Peter Budaj





Joakim Lindstrom - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk

David Jones - Paul Stastny - Chuck Kobasew

Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O`Reilly - Daniel Winnik

Cody McLeod -Jay McClement - T.J. Galiardi


Defense Pairings

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson

Shane O’Brien - Kyle Quincey

Ryan Wilson - Ryan O’Byrne



Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere



Avalanche vs Canadiens coverage

Avs coverage from Mile High Hockey


Pre-game reading after the jump.

RDS and Tony Marinaro both reported Friday that Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov received the green light to practice with the team while visiting his knee surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, in Florida. The Canadiens have yet to confirm anything, but Markov is  now reported to meet with Dr. Andrews again on Monday. Notebook

J.F. Chaumont on Erik Cole

The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the the St. John's Icecaps 4-0 Friday night , spoiling their AHL debut.The two teams go at it again tonight on The Rock. The Bulldogs have also signed defenceman T.J. Fast to a tryout contract.

Nathan Lawson picked up the shutout and Brock Trotter had 3 assists on the night. It's early, but Trotter now shares the AHL scoring lead with 7 points in two games. Joonas Nattinen and Philip DeSimone scored their first professional goals.Oh, and the losing goalie for the Icecaps was a guy named David Aebischer.

Lions in Winter on whether opposing teams have the Habs speed advantage figured out.

Chris Boucher grades the Habs performance, Thursday against the Calgary Flames

J.T. on the Habs workhorse

Anaheim Ducks forward Jason Blake, once thought to be the answer to the Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup dreams, cut his wrist and is out for three months.

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