The Montreal Canadiens were without Phillip Danault and the Columbus Blue Jackets were minus Artemi Panarin during their game against at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, where the Canadiens snapped their four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over John Tortorella’s club thanks to a third-period goal from Tomas Tatar.
The Canadiens had a strong start to their game and had a 2-0 lead and a 12-9 shot advantage over the Blue Jackets by the end of the first period to show for it. Carey Price, who made 31 saves in the Canadiens’ victory, also started the game strong by turning away an Eric Robinson wrist shot point-blank from the slot with his pad.
Just moments after the Price save, Max Domi rushed up the ice and netted his 20th of the season by picking up the rebound of his own pass that was blocked by Robinson and tucking the puck behind Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. Mikey Reilly was credited with the lone assist on the play.
Paul Byron, who was back in the lineup for the first time since being injured against the Edmonton Oilers on February 3, and who was playing in his 400th career NHL game, scored Montreal’s second of the night with less than three minutes remaining in the opening period. Jesperi Kotkaniemi picked up an assist on the goal as his shot went wide, which allowed Byron to pick it up on the other side of the net and put it in the near-empty cage.
The Blue Jackets took advantage of the Canadiens being less dominant in the second period to bring themselves back to within one by the end of 40 minutes of play. Josh Anderson beat Price with a wrist shot just a minute into the period to make it 2-1, and though Riley Nash came extremely close to squeezing the puck through Price’s legs about two minutes later, the netminder got enough of the puck to prevent it from trickling in the net. Price went on to turn away the rest of the Blue Jackets’ shots in the period, including this beauty of a save.
Anderson, who was the Blue Jackets’ most dominant player since Panarin was out with an illness, set up the game-tying goal for his team halfway through the third period by shooting the puck on Price’s far pad and leaving a perfectly placed rebound for his captain Nick Foligno to put in the net.
Despite losing a two-goal lead, Jordie Benn ensured that the Canadiens would not need overtime to defeat the Blue Jackets by setting up the game-winning goal with seven minutes remaining. Benn sent the perfect pass to Tatar who was waiting across the slot, which allowed the forward to deflect his 19th of the season past Bobrovsky.
The Blue Jackets were unable to get a third puck by Price in the remaining seven minutes, and the Canadiens skated away with a 3-2 victory.
After snapping their losing streak, they look to seed a new winning streak on Thursday night when the Philadelphia Flyers come to town.