A Canadiens jersey was thrown onto the ice at the Bell Center in the third period of Montreal’s 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night by a spectator apparently tired of the Canadiens’ losses.
“I saw it, it’s not a good feeling for the players,” said forward Nick Suzuki, who wears the No. 14. “I think it was one of my shirts so, I don’t know if it was, but I thought I saw a four. “
With this loss, Montreal (6-17-2) began its sixth consecutive losing streak of the 2021-22 season. The Canadiens fired general manager Marc Bergevin on Sunday, but have lost two games since.
“It’s hard to get booed but the fans want to see wins, they’re used to productive teams and we’re not doing that at the moment,” said Suzuki. “I can really see why they get angry. “
Ben Chiarot had the only goal for Montreal. Goalkeeper Jake Allen blocked 30 of 33 shots sent to him.
The Habs received another round of punches ahead of Thursday’s game when head coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed forward Brendan Gallagher and defender Sami Niku tested positive for COVID-19, ruling them out for at least 10 days. Ducharme added that Josh Anderson will be out for two to four weeks with an upper body injury.
Bergevin’s replacement Jeff Gorton attended his first game as the Canadiens’ vice-president of hockey operations. He is due to hold a press conference on Friday morning.
“Yes, he was there and he wants us to stay positive and plan to go back to work tomorrow and stick with it,” Ducharme said.
Colorado showed courage after an unbalanced 8-3 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night. Because starting goalie Darcy Kuemper is sidelined with an upper-body injury, the Avalanche (12-7-1) had Jonas Johansson in goal two nights in a row.
On the plane to Montreal, head coach Jared Bednar asked Johansson if he was good for both games and they decided he would have the chance to shake off the loss. After allowing all eight goals the day before, Johansson made 19 saves and allowed just one goal to seal the victory.
“I was really proud of him. Said Bednar. “As a young goalie we usually didn’t play our guy back to back but in this case he didn’t play much hockey and I wanted to see what he was up to tonight because the last night was difficult. for him and for the team.
“He’s been working hard with us for months now and he’s only played a handful of games and now is an opportunity for him to do a few games. “
The 26-year-old Swede wanted to gain the upper hand on Wednesday night and was delighted to take the victory in Montreal.
” It’s really good. Last night was last night, I don’t think anyone was happy with this game, including me, ”said Johansson. “It’s really nice to come back and get two points tonight and take it from there. “
Valeri Nichushkin scored and added an assist. Cale Makar snagged the eventual winner late in the second period as Colorado redeemed itself in the second of a three-game Canadian road trip. The Avs will meet the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
“I think our team really understands what we have to do on both sides of the puck in hockey games,” said Bednar. And I think last night was a real example. In Toronto, we went out and they were more determined, they checked harder than us. “
Andre Burkovsky also scored and Gabriel Landeskog put the puck into an empty net. Nazem Kadri had an assist for his 11th point in as many games.
Colorado opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the second period. Loan O’Connor passed to a wide-open Nichushkin in net.
Chiarot tied the game for Montreal with his fifth goal of the season. His slap shot deflected an Avalanche player and hit the post before beating Johansson.
The Avs regained the advantage late in the second period when Makar deflected Samuel Girard’s shot from the blue line. Makar scored his 10th goal of the season.
Burakovsky gave Colorado a 3-1 advantage in the third period by hitting a loose puck in front of the net.
Landeskog added the empty net with 2:49 left in the third period, adding some confidence to the Avalanche’s victory.