DENVER -- Defensemen P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov each had a goal and an assist to help the Montreal Canadiens open a four-game road trip with a 4-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Monday.
Montreal (17-7-2, 36 points) broke a three-game losing streak to keep pace with the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning (17-6-2, 36 points) in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning has played one fewer game.
The Avalanche (9-11-5) was trying to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Max Pacioretty scored the game-winner on a 2-on-1 rush with 6:06 remaining in the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie. Pacioretty was in the left circle when he beat goalie Calvin Pickard to the glove side.
The Avalanche took 2-1 and 3-2 leads in the second period, but the Canadiens came back to tie the game both times.
Subban blasted a shot from the left point that eluded Pickard low to the far corner at 15:16 to make it 3-3 after Lars Eller won a faceoff from Maxime Talbot, who broke his stick on the draw.
The Avalanche went ahead 3-2 at 12:01 on a goal by Tyson Barrie. Talbot passed to Barrie on a 4-on-1 rush that became a 4-on-2. Barrie moved down the right wing and took a shot past sliding Canadiens defenseman Tom Gilbert that went into the net, off Brandon Prust or goalie Carey Price.
Markov scored a power-play goal at 6:28 to tie the game 2-2. Alex Galchenyuk found Markov skating back door on the left side for a shot into a half-open net with 13 seconds remaining on Nate Guenin's slashing penalty.
Matt Duchene shot the puck off both posts at 9:50 after skating down the right wing and by Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin.
Ryan O'Reilly put the Avalanche in front 35 seconds into the second after Duchene carried the puck down the right wing and passed to Alex Tanguay behind the net. Tanguay fed O'Reilly for a shot that beat Price to the short side.
The Canadiens outshot the Avalanche 18-9 in the period, 30-29 overall.
Colorado's Daniel Briere tied the game 1-1 against his former team with 33.5 seconds remaining in the first period. He took the puck away from Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver in the left corner, skated into the slot and fired the puck by Price's right arm for his fourth goal in the past six games. It was his sixth of the season.
Jiri Sekac opened the scoring at 8:09 with a shot from the left circle while on the rush that beat Pickard, who made his third consecutive start.
The Canadiens were outscored 21-7 in the first period in their first 25 games.
Pickard made a big save at 16:08 against Pacioretty, who stripped the puck from Gabriel Landeskog inside the Avalanche blue line. Pacioretty moved in on a breakaway and Pickard made a pad stop.
Price made a big stop against Landeskog in front at 5:10 after Landeskog accepted a pass into the slot from Nathan MacKinnon.