MacKinnon scores two in 13 seconds, Condon stumbles, as Avs top Habs 6-1

MacKinnon scores two in 13 seconds, Condon stumbles, as Avs top Habs 6-1

Main pic: Ottawa Senators’ Kyle Turris, right, scores on Montreal Canadiens’ goalie Mike Condon during overtime NHL hockey action, in Montreal, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. The Senators beat the Canadiens 2-1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

MONTREAL — It was all smiles and energy in the Colorado Avalanche dressing room after blowing out one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

“Winning on Saturday night at the Bell Centre is a lot of fun,” said Nathan MacKinnon, whose goals 13 seconds apart late in the first period sparked the Avalanche to a 6-1 thumping of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The Avs jumped on the first shaky start for rookie goaltender Mike Condon to make it three wins in a row to begin a six-game road trip, which next takes them to Toronto on Tuesday night.

“Three straight for us is huge,” said MacKinnon. “I don’t know about (calling it) a measuring stick.

“I don’t think we’re in the elite category in the league yet. We want to earn that. But whether they had a good night or not, we played very well. We stuck to our system and (goalie) Reto Berra played great.”

Mikhail Grigorenko, filling in on the top line for the suspended Gabriel Landeskog, scored a goal and set up both of MacKinnon’s markers.

Blake Comeau, Matt Duchene and John Mitchell also scored for Colorado (7-9-1), who are last in the tough Central Division.

Duchene, the subject of trade rumours as the road trip began, had a three-point game to give him eight points on the trip.

“I’m excited,” said Duchene. “Hopefully it continues (in Toronto).

“I have a lot of friends and family coming, so it’d be great to have a big night there, and most importantly get another win.”

Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal (13-3-2), which ended a six-game points streak and suffered a first regulation time loss at home this season.

Condon, who had remarkable numbers in his first six games in relief of injured Carey Price, lost in regulation for the first time. He allowed three goals on eight shots in the first period and four on 11 overall. Dustin Tokarski took over for the third period and stopped 11 of 13 shots.

Montreal tested Reto Berra 40 times.

“We’re not going to start blaming anyone,” said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. “Condon’s been very good for us since the start of the season.

“It was a tough night, but these things happen in a season. After two periods, we were outshooting them 32-11 and they were leading 4-1. It was one of those nights.”

Grigorenko, with his first for the Avalanche, was left alone in front to take a pass from Duchene and score only 3:26 into the game.

He pushed a puck to MacKinnon alone in front to score from close range at 18:25. Only 13 seconds later, MacKinnon took a Grigorenko feed on a rush down the left side and placed a gentle backhand over Condon’s shoulder to the top corner.

The Bell Centre crowd came to life when Gallagher batted his own rebound past Berra 8:48 into the second frame, but Condon let in a short-handed backbreaker at 12:55 when Comeau’s harmless-looking shot from the right side got between his pads. It was Comeau’s first of the season.

Duchene got his eighth of the season as he popped a shot to the top of the net from the doorstep on a power play at 11:05 of the third. Mitchell was alone in front to score into an open side at 14:10.

Landeskog will also sit out in Toronto. Dennis Everberg moved into the lineup.

As in other NHL rinks, a minute’s silence was held before the game and the crowd gave a rousing ovation for the La Marseillaise in support of victims of attacks Friday in Paris.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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