Andre Borkovsky and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche, who bounced back from an ugly 8-3 loss at Toronto a night earlier.
Goalie Jonas Johansson made 19 saves for Colorado.
Ben Charot scored for Montreal, and Jake Allen stopped 30 of 33 shots.
Colorado opened the scoring with a short-handed goal in the second period. Loan O’Connor passed to a wide-open Nichushkin in front of the net.
Chiarot leveled the score for Montreal with his fifth goal of the season. His slap shot from the point deflected off an Avalanche player and ringed off the post before beating Johansson.
The Avs regained the lead late in the second when Makar deflected Samuel Girard’s shot from the blue line for his 10th goal of the season.
Burakovsky gave Colorado a 3-1 advantage in the third period by tapping in a loose puck in front of the net.
A fan, seemingly frustrated by the Canadiens’ recent poor play, threw a Habs jersey on the ice during the third period.
Landeskog added an empty-netter with 2:49 left.
Avalanche: At Ottawa on Saturday.
Canadiens: At Nashville on Saturday.