Colorado at Montreal

Souray leads Canadiens to big score over Avalanche


MONTREAL -- Like his career in Montreal, Jose Theodore's first game against the Canadiens started off strong before ending quite badly.

Sheldon Souray had two goals and two assists and Chris Higgins scored Montreal's fourth power-play goal midway through the third, leading the Canadiens to an 8-5 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night in Theodore's return to the Bell Centre.

Higgins scored his fifth of the season 10:55 into the third, tapping a loose puck behind Theodore and over the goal line to put Montreal ahead 6-5.

"I'm sure coming in here was special for him, but for us it's just another game and he's just another goalie," Souray said.

The sold-out crowd of 21,273 chanted "Theo! Theo!" after Alexei Kovalev scored his third of the season at 12:48, then cheered loudly once again as Mike Johnson made it a three-goal lead at 13:54 on the Canadiens' fifth goal of the period.

"I heard it all game," Theodore said. "I pretty much expected it."

Craig Rivet came out of the penalty box and beat Theodore on a breakaway earlier in the period to give Montreal -- which trailed 3-0 in the first -- its first lead at 5-4.

"I don't know where that one came from," Saku Koivu said of Rivet's finishing of his breakaway pass. "I can tell that he was happy. It was a good one."

Colorado's Andrew Brunette scored his second goal of the game 8:43 into the third to tie the score at 5.

"I don't think it's the right thing to do," Brunette said of crowd's treatment of Theodore and Avalanche defenseman Patrice Brisebois, a member of the Canadiens last Stanley Cup-winning team in 1993 who also returned to Montreal for the first time.

"I think they played well for them all those years and they were lucky to have them. If that's the way they feel about those guys, then shame on them."

Joe Sakic had a goal and an assist to move within three points of 1,500 for his career, and Paul Stastny scored his first career goal. Tyler Arnason also scored for the Avalanche.

Souray had points on four straight goals as the Canadiens recovered from scores by Sakic, Brunette and Stastny 1:15 apart in the first to tie it at 4 early in the third.

"These are games that build character, that build confidence," Souray said. "It sends a message, to ourselves, really, that we can be down in games and not be out."

Souray scored his first of two power-play goals 17:20 into the first before adding his second 4:22 into the second to draw the Canadiens to within 3-2.

Arnason got his third goal at 6:26, before Souray drew an assist on Sergei Samsonov's second goal at 9:23 to make it 4-3.

Traded to Colorado for David Aebischer in a deadline deal on March 8 deadline, Theodore allowed five third-period goals to the delight of his former fans.

The 2001-02 league MVP, who had 23 shutouts with the Canadiens, was greeted with boos from the crowd when he led the Avalanche onto the ice prior to the game.

Brisebois, a frequent target of boos during his 14 seasons in Montreal, was booed when his assist was announced on Arnason's goal, as well as every time he touched the puck throughout the game.


  • Stastny changed uniform numbers from No. 62 to No. 26. D John-Michael Liles gave him the number which was worn by Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, Paul's father, during his career with the Quebec Nordiques, who retired the number in his honor prior to the franchise's move to Denver. "I was grateful to John-Michael for handing down his jersey to me," Stastny said. "I felt honored to wear the same number as my old man did."
  • Liles switched to No. 4, previously worn by his idol and former teammate Rob Blake.
  • Each of Souray's team-leading five goals have come on the power play.
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Craig Rivet shows his enthusiasm after scoring Montreal's fifth goal of the night. (AP)
Craig Rivet shows his enthusiasm after scoring Montreal's fifth goal of the night. (AP)
Colorado (3-3-2)3115
Montreal  (4-1-2) «1258
Three Stars
S. Souray

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 2
S. Koivu

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
C. Higgins

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
15:26Joe Sakic (4), Snap Shot - Assists: Marek Svatos, Patrice Brisebois
15:52Andrew Brunette, Wrist Shot - Assists: Joe Sakic, Marek Svatos
16:41Paul Stastny, Snap Shot - Assist: Milan Hejduk
17:20Power Play - Sheldon Souray (4), Slap Shot - Assists: Andrei Markov, Michael Ryder
04:22Power Play - Sheldon Souray (5), Slap Shot - Assists: Mike Johnson, Radek Bonk
06:26Tyler Arnason (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Wojtek Wolski, Patrice Brisebois
09:23Sergei Samsonov (2), Snap Shot - Assists: Alexei Kovalev, Sheldon Souray
00:29Power Play - Michael Ryder (3), Snap Shot - Assists: Saku Koivu, Sheldon Souray
05:40Craig Rivet, Snap Shot - Assists: Saku Koivu, Andrei Markov
08:43Power Play - Andrew Brunette, Tip-In - Assists: John-Michael Liles, Brett Clark
10:55Power Play - Christopher Higgins (5), Backhand Shot - Assists: Saku Koivu, Andrei Markov
12:48Alexei Kovalev (3), Wrist Shot - Assist: Sergei Samsonov
13:54Mike Johnson (2), Slap Shot - Assist: Alexander Perezhogin
Penalty Summary
01:40Souray: Delay of Game - 2 min.
09:33Koivu: Hooking - 2 min.
12:14Skrastins: Tripping - 2 min.
17:12Klee: Delay of Game - 2 min.
03:45Clark: Hooking - 2 min.
12:37Klee: Hooking - 2 min.
13:23Theodore: Interference - 2 min.
16:54Samsonov: Hooking - 2 min.
19:11Skrastins: Tripping - 2 min.
00:06Richardson: Holding - 2 min.
03:34Rivet: Hooking - 2 min.
06:31Aebischer: Holding - 2 min.
08:22Begin: Tripping - 2 min.
09:55Clark: Interference - 2 min.
15:05Plekanec: Delaying Game - 2 min.
Jose Theodore59:56288
David Aebischer60:00335
Game Information
Attendance - 21273
Referees - Don Koharski, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Mark Shewchyk
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