Giguere Comes Up Big Against Hometown Team

The Avs goalie and Quebec native picked up the win against the Montreal Canadiens

Sunday, 11.03.2013 / 12:56 AM
Ron Knabenbauer

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 29 Montreal shots to earn his fourth win and remain unbeaten on the season.

It looked like Giguere would possibly earn his third shutout in four games heading into the third period, but Brendan Gallagher scored from the top of the crease at 3:38 of the final frame to end any hope of the shutout and tie the game at 1-1.

The goal was the first that Giguere had given up since Oct. 21 at Pittsburgh and ended his shutout streak at 122 minutes, 33 seconds.

The veteran goalie didn't allow another puck to get past him, though, as he finished with 13 saves in the final 20 minutes. He also received some help from his offense, which scored three times in the final 12 minutes to help the Avs pick up their sixth straight victory.

Through four games this season Giguere has only allowed three goals and has a 0.75 goals-against average, a .977 save percentage and two shutouts.

"He looks like a 25-year-old, seriously," Roy said of his 36-year-old netminder. "I saw him this summer, and he was working so hard. Honestly, when you work that hard, eventually it is going to pay off, and that is what our team does. Our team works hard night after night, and we've been consistent in our effort, which I think is one of the reasons why we have had the results that we have, and our goaltenders are a big part of it as well."

Giguere was born in Montreal and grew up a Canadiens fans, but he seems to elevate his game against his favorite childhood team. He entered Saturday's contest with a 7-3-1 record, a 2.62 goals-against average and a .913 save-percentage all-time against Montreal.

McLEOD RETURNS TO THE LINEUP

Cody McLeod was back in an Avalanche uniform after serving his five-game suspension and immediately made his presence felt.

On his second shift, McLeod and Montreal's Ryan White dropped the gloves for a fight to energize the Pepsi Center crowd. McLeod threw several nice punches and eventually forced White down to the ice.

Saturday's contest was the Avalanche left wing's first since Oct. 17 against Detroit, and head coach Patrick Roy said the team is glad to have McLeod back in the lineup.

"We missed him a lot," Roy said. "He plays great on the PK for us. He brings a lot of energy. He has a great physicality to his game that we definitely need."

ROY EXCITED TO FACE OLD TEAM

Patrick Roy had been trying to say that the game against the Canadiens was just like any other contest, but he admitted after Saturday's morning skate that he was looking forward to playing his former club.

"I've been saying to everybody that it is just another game, but deep inside I guess it's not," Roy said. "It's always special to play against a former team."

Roy played 11 full seasons with Montreal and helped win two Stanley Cups with the franchise before his relationship with the club turned sour and he was traded to Colorado in December 1995.

Both sides seem to have forgiven each other as the Canadiens retired Roy's No. 33 jersey in 2008, and the current Avs coach now looks fondly on his time with the organization.

"I have so much respect for them," Roy said. "Things are so much different than when I was traded and when I was a player. … Things have turned around the last 10 years, and I am so happy to have such a good relationship with the Montreal Canadiens."

McGINN CLOSE TO A RETURN

Jamie McGinn was back on the ice at Saturday's morning skate after missing two games with a minor knee injury. He suffered the injury on Oct. 25 against Carolina.

Roy said McGinn is healthy, but the Colorado coach kept his winger out of the contest with the Canadiens because he felt he needed a few days of practice before seeing game action after not skating since the game against the Hurricanes.

McGinn is expected to play Wednesday night against Nashville and will wear a brace on the knee that was injured.

AVS ALUMNI IN THE HOUSE

There were several familiar Avalanche faces in Pepsi Center to help celebrate Adam Foote's jersey retirement ceremony.

While it was a given that executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy—both Avs greats—would be in the building, several other former players made the long trip to Denver to surprise Foote.

Among the players in attendance was Peter Forsberg from Sweden, Alexei Gusarov from Russia and Ray Bourque from Boston. Also, Randy Velischek, Foote's first defensive partner from 1991 when he was in Quebec, also made the trip.

When it came to raising Foote's No. 52 jersey to the rafters, Bourque, Gusarov, Velischek and current Avs defenseman Ryan Wilson all helped bring out the banner and lift it to the arena ceiling.

Wilson was Foote's last defense partner from 2009 to 2011.

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