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Canadiens 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanc
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MONTREAL -- There was so much more to the Canadiens 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night than Patrick Roys return to Montreal. A game that had the 21,273 in the Bell Centre seats rocking even before the puck was dropped saw NHL trade deadline addition Thomas Vanek score his first three goals as a Canadien. It saw plugger Travis Moen score a spin-around goal worthy of a first-line star. And it had a spectacular performance from Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon, who dazzled the crowd and the Canadiens defence for an entire shift before scoring his 23rd goal of the season in the first period. On the downside, Colorado defenceman John Mitchell was taken to hospital for tests after crashing back-first into the end boards at 8:02 of the second period. Roy had no update on his condition after the game other than that it was back injury. The game started with the spotlight on Roy, but players from both teams made sure it was game to remember as well. "I thought both teams played really well and tonight the puck bounced their way," said Roy, the former Canadiens goaltending great who was on his first trip to Montreal as an NHL coach. There was no pre-game ceremony for the player once known as Saint Patrick, but he didnt need one. The fans gave him a long, rousing ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard during the national anthems. Some wondered how the Bell Centre crowd would react to Roy, who won Stanley Cups for the Canadiens in 1986 and 1993 but later demanded a trade and was on the outs with the organization until 2008 when they retired his No. 33 jersey. "I thought they showed lot of class," said Roy. "It was nice. They didnt make a big thing and thats the way I wanted it." Brandon Prust, who left the game late in the first period with an apparent shoulder injury, returned to score a goal and set up Moens tally for Montreal (38-25-7), which won its third game in a row. Trailing by two goals, Roy pulled goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with 2:20 left to play, but Dale Weise scored into the empty net. Max Talbot and Jamie McGinn also had goals for the Avalanche (44-20-5), which lost for only the third time in 10 games. The Avs end a three-game road trip Wednesday night in Winnipeg. Vanek had a ton of chances since he was acquired from the New York Islanders, who had got him early in the season from the Buffalo Sabres. He finally broke through against Colorado. "It was frustrating," he said. "I think Im pretty emotional out there and sometimes I show my frustration too much. "But its been a tough year moving around, trying to get your first goal with Buffalo and then a new team and then here. But I thought we were generating chances and it just didnt go in. Getting that first goal was nice. I was really pressing the last few games." The Avalanche players clearly wanted to win for Roy, who has taken them from last to fourth in the Western Conference in one season and who is likely to be named the NHLs coach of the year. Roys team responded with a strong opening period. No. 1 overall draft pick MacKinnon put on a show as he ragged the puck in the Montreal zone for most of an entire shift. Then he got the puck alone in front of the net off a strange deflection and deked Carey Price at 18:03. He got 20:55 of ice time and, other than Vanek, was perhaps the best player in the game. Even Montreal coach Michel Therrien was impressed. "For an 18-year-old kid... I had the luxury of coaching great ones at 18 and 19 years old (Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin) and hes right there," said Therrien. "Hes a special player." Roy knew his players wanted to get him the victory, even though he told them to concentrate on getting the two points. "(Ryan) OReilly was hurt and I knew he wanted to play," said Roy. "(Paul) Stastny came back (from a back injury) tonight. "I knew what they were doing. I have a lot of respect for my players and I appreciate it, but I didnt want them to feel the pressure of winning a game for their coach. I wanted them to win for the team. I dont want to put myself ahead of the team. I didnt need a special night." The Canadiens bounced back in the second, as Vanek tapped one into an open goal after Desharnais lured Giguere out of his net on a rush at 7:44. Talbot was parked at the doorstep to knock in a Matt Duchene feed at 9:33, but Moen tied the score at 10:21 with his second of the year and his first since Nov. 22. Prust dove to chip the puck into the middle, where Moen caught it, then did a spin-around move to beat Giguere with a backhand. Giguere took a holding the stick penalty and Vanek made him pay as he converted a Max Pacioretty feed on a power play for the game-winner at 14:45. Montreal was on the power play again when Vanek reached behind his back to deflect an Alexei Emelin shot in at 17:40 for the hat-trick. Only two hats were thrown on the ice. Montreal fans have never been big on the hat-throwing thing. Weise added an empty-netter at 19:00, giving each member of the checking line a goal. "We were energized tonight," said Prust. "We knew it was going to be a big game. We knew they would come hard to get Patty the win, so were glad we spoiled it." Notes: It was Roys first game against Montreal since he was a player on Nov. 6, 2001. Roy opted to put Montreal native Giguere as No. 1 Semyon Varlamov sat out. Roy said Reto Berra will start in goal in Winnipeg. . . Stastny returned from after missing four games with a back injury. . . The Avs went into the game with the NHLs fourth best power play and Montreal with the fourth best penalty kill. Shaquille ONeal Jersey . The CFL will help tackle womens cancers by playing four special "CFL PINK" games this weekend. LeBron James Lakers Jersey .The Canadian teenage golf sensation announced Thursday shell join the LPGA Tour in 2015 instead of attending the University of Florida. http://www.lakersbasketballshop.com/Wilt...in-Jersey/ . Watching them over the past year - and in some cases, two years - has given us a starting point for this seasons Craigs List. JaVale McGee Lakers Jersey . Marie rink got back in the win column at the Olympic mens curling tournament with a 7-4 win over the host Russian squad on Wednesday. Kurt Rambis Lakers Jersey . "Im going to send Webbie a six-pack (of beer) tonight," she said. Webb wasnt sure that would help. "Ill probably drink one and go to sleep," the Australian veteran said. The two players set up a Sunday showdown between former HSBC champions after finishing off their third rounds with identical birdies over three of the last five holes Saturday to separate themselves slightly from the rest of the crowded leaderboard.Jan Laco did everything he could. The unheralded Slovakian goaltender turned aside everything he saw. A Kontintenal Hockey League backup, he looked fearless in the face of the Russians high-powered offence. But his teammates couldnt solve Russian counterpart Semyon Varlamov. Alexander Radulov and Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only shootout goals after a scoreless deadlock, Varlamov provided 27 saves and Team Russia edged Slovakia 1-0 in Group A action on Sunday in the 2014 Sochi Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome. "Thats every game here. Its very intense," Kovalchuk said. "Even if you play against Slovenia or the USA, or today against Slovakia, it doesnt matter. We couldnt find a way how to score, but we found a way to win." With one win, one overtime win and one overtime loss in the preliminary round, Russia will have to play a qualifying elimination game against Norway to reach the quarter-finals. Slovakia (0-3) finished last in its group with one point. Laco, getting the call in place of star St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, was brilliant in stopping 36 Russian shots – the only blemishes being in the shootout. Alex Ovechkin thought he had an open net to end the game in overtime, but the Capitals forward was blocked on a spectacular sprawling stop by Slovakian defender Andrej Meszaros, who came to the aid of the 32-year-old Slovakian goalie. "It mattered to us," Meszaros said. "We wanted to prove to ourselves we could play better hockey than we showed in the first two games. I think we showed everybody that we can play with anybody." The home side re-established its momentum in the third period by outshooting the Slovaks 15-2 and drawing four straight penalties, failing to convert on any of them. The Russians, fresh off a tthrilling 3-2 shootout loss to the Americans, appeared to have finally solved Laco in the third on a power play, off a deflected point shot by Yevgeni Medvedev.dddddddddddd The puck beat the Slovakian netminder, but caromed off the crossbar and post to stay out of the net. The early half of the second period featured a defensive battle, with both sides smothering one another and not allowing many chances. Russia couldnt convert on either of its power-play opportunities of the frame, but the pace picked up significantly in the latter half of the period. Laco looked calm as can be in fending off the Russian attack. His glove side was seemingly unbeatable at times and he was able to spot the puck through traffic to make some difficult stops. One of his best came early in the second period on Pittsburgh Penguins sniper Evgeni Malkin, who had a great chance taken away by Lacos acrobatics. Not many goalies can say this, but Laco seemed to have Malkins number in this tilt. Known for having one of the quickest snap shots in the NHL, Malkin recovered a loose puck late in the period, turned and fired. Laco was quicker. He calmly turned aside the chance to keep things scoreless. But Varlamov was not to be outdone. He was lightning fast and sharp in denying chance after chance by the Slovaks. The Russians had a scare involving one of their top snipers Ilya Kovalchuk. At 9:17 of the second period, the former New Jersey Devil got tangled up with Richard Panik, went down awkwardly and appeared to be favouring his leg or ankle. He left the game but would later return. Slovakia lost the bronze-medal match to Finland in 2010 while the Russians finished a disappointing sixth. Russia is trying to duplicate what Canada was able to do four years ago in winning Olympic gold on home soil. ' ' '
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