Canadiens score 3 power-play goals in 3rd to beat Blue Jackets
It was a lot of fun for Max Pacioretty — and a particularly painful loss for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Pacioretty scored two power-play goals, and P.K. Subban added another — all in a span of 3:53 of the third period — to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
"If I go back and think about it, that’s got to be one of my favorite games I’ve played this year," Pacioretty said.
Erasing a 2-0 deficit on the road with 8 minutes left makes for a memorable game. It was forgettable for the home team.
"It’s just disappointing," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "This one bothers me, the way that we found a way to lose this one."
The Canadiens, who mustered just one shot during their first four power plays, scored on each of their last three chances, with five shots. They came in ranked 28th of the 30 NHL teams on the power play.
"We won a lot of battles," said Brendan Gallagher, who assisted on Pacioretty’s first goal. "And we worked hard."
With Matt Calvert off for slashing, Pacioretty took a feed from Gallagher in the high slot, pivoted and whistled a shot past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky with 8:30 remaining. The Canadiens said the puck bounced off a Blue Jackets player’s stick before finding the net behind Bobrovsky.
"We knew we needed a bounce to start putting them in on that goalie because he was playing out of his mind, especially early in the game," Pacioretty said.
Bobrovsky twice robbed Pacioretty, smothering a backhander and then a point-blank shot from the left doorstep.
Just 2:56 after Montreal broke through, this time with Jared Boll off for high sticking, the Canadiens cycled the puck to Subban at the left point. His one-timer — with Bobrovsky’s view obstructed by David Desharnais — tied it at 2.
"Sometimes you need a little bit of luck on your side," Subban said. "We got some bounces, but we did a good job of moving the puck and getting into areas where we were going to have success. Hopefully, that continues."
Soon after Subban’s goal, Brandon Dubinsky was called for boarding.
"The last (penalty) was not a good one," Richards said.
Tomas Plekanec’s entry pass was redirected in by Pacioretty from the right hash to give the Canadiens their first lead.
"They took a lead of two goals, and that was bad for the spirit of our club," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "But we made some adjustments with our power play this week. I’m glad they paid off."
Carey Price made 14 saves, and Andrei Markov had two assists for the Canadiens, who have earned points in eight of nine games and 11 of 13.
Ryan Johansen’s third-period, power-play goal extended his career-best point streak to 11 games and gave Columbus the 2-0 lead. Kevin Connauton scored on the Blue Jackets’ first shot. Bobrovsky made 28 saves and did everything right until the final 8 minutes.
"Our power play was a big topic this week," Pacioretty said. "We were talking about it in the media and in the room. We knew we had to get a bounce to get some momentum, and that’s what happened. Now the big thing is keeping it going."
NOTES: The Blue Jackets scored on their first shot for the second game in a row. … Desharnais played in his 299th NHL game. … All three of Morin’s points this season have come at home. … Montreal C Manny Malhotra is ninth on the Blue Jackets’ career points list with 145 in 344 games.