MONTREAL (AP) — Carey Price stopped 28 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Saturday night.
Brett Kulak, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordie Benn all scored in the third period for the Canadiens, who had lost three of their last four games. Price got his 43rd career shutout.
Semyon Varlamov gave up two goals on 30 shots for the slumping Avalanche, losers of nine of their last 10.
After two scoreless periods, Kulak scored his second of the season to break the deadlock. With the Canadiens playing short-handed, Kulak scored right off a faceoff in Colorado's zone at 8:21 of the third.
The goal revitalized the home side and Kotkaniemi made it 2-0 at 10:39 on a one-timer after nifty stick work by Jonathan Drouin along the half-wall.
Benn added an empty-netter with 1:16 left.
Colorado has dropped the first three games on its current five-game Canadian road trip.
With Montreal's recent scoring woes — five goals in its previous four games — coach Claude Julien shuffled his top three lines to provide a spark on offense. Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault were moved to the top line with Drouin, and Max Domi was dropped to center the second line. Tomas Tatar, who's played the entire season with Gallagher and Danault, was demoted to the third line alongside rookie Kotkaniemi and Paul Byron.
Julien also tweaked his two power-play units, to no avail. Montreal's league-worst power play went 0 for 3. Montreal's best chance with the man advantage came four minutes into the third period when captain Shea Weber's one-timer hit the post.
Price was solid between the pipes, making key saves to keep the Canadiens in the game. In the first, Price made a hard glove save look easy when Tyson Jost walked in all alone. In the third, the 31-year-old stopped Matt Calvert on the breakaway.
NOTES; The Canadiens are 1 for 20 on the power play in their last six games. They're 0 for 27 on the power play at home dating back to Dec. 1. ... Colorado F Nathan MacKinnon saw his eight-game point streak snapped. ... The Avalanche have allowed 41 goals in their last nine road games.
Avalanche: At Toronto on Monday night.
Canadiens: At Boston on Monday night.
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