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Canada starts 2024 with a bang

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Canada starts 2024 with a bang

The Canadiens welcomed Jonathan Drouin and the Colorado Avalanche to the Bell Centre for the first time on Monday night, and the Quebecer wanted to make a good impression. It was also the first time Samuel Girard had played in Montreal since requiring the NHL’s player assistance program.

Here’s the line-up for both teams.

Well, Jonathan Drouin wasted no time getting noticed at his former home. On the power play, he picked up an assist on Ross Colton’s first goal of the game.

During the first commercial break, a video paying tribute to Jonathan Drouin was shown on the giant Bell Centre screen.

Quite a welcome from Canadiens fans for their former forward.

Except that Juraj Slafkovsky wanted to turn the attention of Habs fans back to their own team. On the power play, he was able to break free and complete a shot on goal to level the score.

It was his first goal since December 22.

It was 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.

Facing the Avalanche, however, remains very difficult. Cale Makar may not be a forward, but he produces more than most NHL forwards. This time, his slap shot gave poor Jake Allen no chance in front of the net.

In a slightly more comical situation, Kaiden Guhle had to retreat to the dressing room, not for a serious injury, but because he got the puck between his legs, where it hurts!

Fortunately, he was back on the bench a few minutes later. It was probably quite a shock.

Still without a goal this season, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard wanted to avenge his teammate and his nuts just a few minutes later. His relentless efforts at the net led to his first goal in 16 games.

What a relief!

After two periods, the score was 2-2.

Cole Caufield is having a tough time of it this season, but he seems to be excelling in the face of adversity. For the second time in as many games, the little American scored on the power play and, believe me, it was magnificent.

A solid lead from the left circle, just the way we like it.

Except this time, it was the Avalanche who came to spoil the party by creating the tie. Devon Toews, like Makar, made life difficult for Jake Allen with a cannonball.

Nothing wrong with that.

But obviously, the Habs hadn’t said their last word. Joel Armia gave his all to get a shot off, and he finally did. His backhand shot put the Tricolore back in front with less than five minutes to go in the third period.

The Avalanche pulled their goalie in favor of a sixth skater at the very end of the period, but Jake Allen, like his game, remained solid in front of the net.

The Canadiens won 4-3.

Montreal is back in action on Wednesday, when it visits the New Jersey Devils.

Extensions

– Curious, isn’t it?

– He’s developing very well.

– Times change!

– A true love-hate relationship!

– You have to shoot to score.

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