Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals and added an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the host Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Elvis Merzlikins stopped 27 shots as the Blue Jackets earned at least one point for the eighth straight game. Columbus is 17-2-5 over its past 24 games, and Merzlikins is 10-0-2 since starting goalie Joonas Korpisalo suffered a knee injury on Dec. 29.
Dubois, who leads the Jackets with 42 points and is tied with Oliver Bjorkstrand for the top spot in goals (17), assisted on Columbus’ first goal, by Vladislav Gavrikov. Gustav Nyquist added an empty-net goal.
The win came at a cost for Columbus, which lost center Alexander Wennberg to an upper-body injury. He did not return.
Canadiens goalie Carey Price, making his fifth straight start, stopped 23 in the loss. Tomas Tatar, Max Domi and Shea Weber scored for Montreal.
Montreal, which had its two-game win streak snapped, is 6-3-0 in its past nine contests after going through a 0-7-1 stretch.
Columbus opened the scoring with 12:45 gone in the first period. Nick Foligno set the play up by holding off two Canadiens along the boards and getting the puck to Dubois. Bjorkstrand then fed Gavrikov in the left circle for his wrist shot. Gavrikov navigated around a loose stick before beating Price to the short side.
The Blue Jackets made it 2-0 with 3:31 expired in the second. Foligno got the assist as he won another board battle and moved the puck to Dubois, who scored on a breakaway backhander that went five-hole.
Montreal got on the board with 9:18 elapsed in the second as a bad pass by Dubois created a 3-on-1 Canadiens breakaway. Nick Suzuki, who made the steal, dished to Brendan Gallagher. Tatar, skating toward the right circle, got the next pass, scoring with a hard shot over Merzlikins’ glove.
Dubois, atoning for his mistake, gave Columbus a 3-1 lead with just 2:08 left in the second, stealing the puck and scoring unassisted on a wraparound goal.
Domi’s goal through a screen with 4:08 left in the third period cut Montreal’s deficit to 3-2.
The Jackets seemingly iced the win on Nyquist’s goal with 1:53 left. But Weber’s goal with 61 seconds remaining gave Montreal life before Columbus held on for the win.
—Field Level Media