COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)David Savard scored the go-ahead goal against his former team early in the third period, sending the Montreal Canadiens past the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Wednesday night for their second comeback victory in three games.
Arber Xhekaj and Sean Monahan also had goals in the third for the Canadiens after the first two periods were scoreless. Sam Montembeault made 29 saves as Montreal avenged a road loss to Columbus six days earlier.
”I’m happy with the mindset we had tonight,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. ”(We) simplified it a bit, played a smart road game and not beat ourselves early, and get through the first five or six minutes. Because I feel the last two or three games that’s put us behind the 8-ball.”
Mathieu Olivier scored for the Blue Jackets, and Joonas Korpisalo stopped 26 shots in his second consecutive loss. Columbus has dropped two of three, both at home.
Play was virtually even through two periods before Olivier picked off a weak Canadiens clearing pass and scored from the right circle at 1:08 of the third.
Xhekaj tied it 1:30 later when his shot from the blue line got past a screened Korpisalo.
”I pick my spot and the puck went in,” Xhekaj said. ”It felt good.”
Savard made it 2-1 at 3:35 by burying a feed from Kirby Dach off the rush for his first goal of the season.
”They got two good bounces – one ran up their stick, one went off a skate,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. ”We got on our heels a bit. It was a pretty solid game all the way through. It’s too bad, because we’re playing a heck of a game. We weren’t giving up much at all. We had some good looks ourselves.”
Monahan added an empty-netter at 18:07.
Cole Caufield extended his point streak to three games with the secondary assist on Savard’s goal. He has five points in his last four games. … Monahan’s goal extended his point streak to three games.
Columbus’ Ygor Chinakhov did not play and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
LONG TIME COMING
The victory was Montreal’s first over Columbus since a 3-2 shootout win Nov. 12, 2019, at the Bell Center. It broke a five-game Blue Jackets win streak over the Canadiens.
Canadiens: Play at Chicago on Friday.
Blue Jackets: Host the New York Islanders on Friday.
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