MONTREAL - This is getting to be a trend.
The Blue Jackets scored early, didn't score the rest of regulation, leaned on Sergei Bobrovsky again and defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 Tuesday at Bell Centre on Zach Werenski's goal 1:09 into overtime.
"It's, again, we need the points and we need to win," said Bobrovsky, who made 28 saves for his second straight victory. "The game dictates those conditions. You have to be focused. You have to work, and you have to step up when you need it for your teammates."
It was the fourth straight game the Blue Jackets have scored one goal in regulation, third straight game they scored within in the first six minutes of the game and second game in a row they won beyond regulation - after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in a nine-round shootout on Saturday.
Columbus is now 6-1 in games that last beyond regulation, with the only loss in a shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning Nov. 4 at Amalie Arena.
This time, Josh Anderson scored his team-leading seventh goal 2:29 into the game, and that was all the offense Columbus got until Werenski ended it in OT. In between, Bobrovsky was on point again, including another highlight-reel stop against a 2-on-1 in the third period.
Charlie Lindgren made 23 saves for the Canadiens, who tied the game at 12:14 of the third period on a goal by Paul Byron.
Here's how it all went down:
(Corsi, scoring chance data per naturalstattrick.com)
Goals: CBJ - Josh Anderson (Markus Nutivaara), 2:29; MTL - None
Shots: Blue Jackets 10, Canadiens 8
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Canadiens 54.8% (17-14), Blue Jackets 45.2% (14-17)
Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 7, Canadiens 7
High-Danger chances 5v5: Canadiens 4, Blue Jackets 2
2:29 - GOAL - The Blue Jackets again got off to a fast start, shaking off their earlier issue of sluggish starts. They've scored the game's first goal in three straight games now, all within the first six minutes in the first period. Anderson's goal was scored on the fourth shift of the game.
Nutivaara launched a shot attempt from the right point, which hit Anderson and landed near his feet. He wasted no time collecting it, and then swatted it between Lindgren's glove and the right post.
11:06 - Tyler Motte's strong forecheck forced a turnover in the Montreal zone, and Anderson got the puck. He waited for Motte to charge to the net and fired a long wrister. Lindren stopped it with Motte bearing down on him. That's the kind of forecheck effort that will keep Motte in the lineup.
12:00 - Jordie Benn was called for tripping, giving the Blue Jackets the game's first power play. They didn't improve their success rate of 9.6 percent entering the contest, but the second unit generated a couple scoring chances. Pierre-Luc Dubois received a nice pass from fellow rookie Sonny Milano in the slot, but Byron Froese blocked his shot. Oliver Bjorkstrand had the lone shot on goal.
15:26 - Werenski was called for interfering with Montreal's Andrew Shaw, who drew his eighth penalty of the season to put Montreal on the power play. The Blue Jackets killed it off, and allowed just one shot, off the stick of Phillip Danault from the high slot. Bobrovsky stopped it with his stick, which began his busiest sequence of the first 20 minutes.
18:31 - The Canadiens rallied after their power play expired. They produced their best scoring chances of the period, by Danault and Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty. Danault got another shot on net with 1:29 left, and Pacioretty made Bobrovsky stop back-to-back attempts with a minute to go.
Video: CBJ@MTL: Anderson cleans up loose puck in front
Goals: CBJ - None; MTL -None
Shots: Canadiens 7, Blue Jackets 3
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Canadiens 56.5% (13-10), Blue Jackets 43.5% (10-13),
Scoring chances 5v5: Canadiens 10, Blue Jackets 5
High-Danger chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 2, Canadiens 2
3:52 - Brandon Dubinsky is one of the rare NHL players who doesn't wear a visor. He might've wound up with gauze in his bleeding nose anyway after this play, even if he did. Dubinsky took a stick to the face at 4:01, shortly after a draw against Montreal's Tomas Plekanec. While tying up Plekanec after the puck dropped, the Canadiens center's stick came up and popped Dubinsky in the nose. He tried to take the next face-off, as well, but bled onto the ice and was sent to the bench to address the issue.
6:22 - The Canadiens came down on a 2-on-1 rush and nearly tied it. Bobrovsky made a save on a wrist shot by Byron Froese, which sent the puck behind the net. Victor Mete quickly scooped it and dragged it toward the left post, but Bjorkstrand broke up the attempted wraparound with a great back check.
Last week against Carolina, Tortorella benched Bjorkstrand for most of the third period for not checking hard enough. After a chat with the coaching staff, he gave a strong checking effort Saturday in Detroit. Bjorkstrand carried that attitude into this game.
QUOTE: "He's got a big league shot, but he's got to learn to play the other part of the game, too, so he has the puck to do that." - Tortorella on Bjorkstrand
9:34 - Bobrovsky made another huge save to thwart a breakaway. One game after making an incredible skate save against a 2-on-0 in overtime against the Red Wings, the Russian goalie came up big again midway through the second.
Paul Byron forced a turnover at the Jackets' blue line, knocking the puck away from Seth Jones, and turned it into clean breakaway. He tried to wait Bobrovsky out, but the Columbus goalie stopped his backhand-forehand attempt with the right pad. The Blue Jackets retained their 1-0 lead, while Byron went to the bench and slammed his helmet on the edge of the boards.
16:53 - The Canadiens got their second power play late in the period, when Jordan Schroeder was called for holding defenseman Shea Weber while chasing down a puck along the boards in the Columbus zone. Montreal didn't get a single shot on goal. Schroeder, however, got his first shot of the season with 1:00 left to play, seconds after being released from the penalty box. Lindgren stopped it.
Video: CBJ@MTL: Bobrovsky covers Danault's tip-in chance
Goals: CBJ - None; MTL - Paul Byron (Shea Weber, Alex Galchenyuk), 12:14;
Shots: Canadiens 14, Blue Jackets 11,
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Canadiens 57.1% (32-24), Blue Jackets 42.9% (24-32)
Scoring chances 5v5: Canadiens 16, Blue Jackets 12
High-Danger chances 5v5: Canadiens 8, Blue Jackets 5
Overall Corsi: Canadiens 56.4% (48-62), Blue Jackets 43.6% (62-48)
Overall 5v5 Scoring chances: Canadiens 33, Blue Jackets 24
Overall High-Danger chances: Canadiens 13, Blue Jackets 9
4:49 - Just as he did Saturday in Detroit, Bobrovsky made another great acrobatic save when it looked like he didn't have much of a chance. Andrew Shaw and Jacob de la Rose turned a fortunate bounce into a 2-on-1 rush. Shaw drew Bobrovsky's attention, slid a pass to De la Rose, and Bobrovsky just got his blocker out to stop a wrist shot headed for a wide opening on the left side of the net. He also dropped his goal stick.
After the game, there was debate about whether this save or the one in overtime in Detroit was better.
QUOTE: "It was unbelievable. That's nothing out of the ordinary, I guess. Maybe they should try going 3-on-0 next time." - Cam Atkinson on Borovsky's latest greatest save Tuesday in Montreal.
8:04 - More "Bob" heroics. This time, he stonewalled three shots by Pacioretty within a span of eight seconds - including a pad save off a low wrist shot from the low slot to start the sequence.
10:41 - The Jackets came inches from pushing their lead to 2-0. Instead, defenseman Seth Jones' shot from the right face-off circle rung off the right goal post, after getting past Lindgren.
12:14 - GOAL - The tying goal started innocently enough. The Blue Jackets coughed up the puck behind the Montreal net, and the Canadiens gathered it as they headed up ice. Brendan Gallagher spotted Weber skating up the right wing and sent him a pass for a 3-on-2 rush.
Weber kept his shot low to generate a rebound, which he got off Bobrovsky's pads. Byron got to the puck and chipped it into the net with a backhand for his fourth goal of the season. Game tied, 1-1.
18:57 - Just as it happened Saturday in Detroit, the game was pushed past regulation, into 3-on-3 overtime, thanks to Bobrovsky. He made stops against Danault and Pacioretty, who finished with seven shots on goal and nothing to show for it.
Goals: CBJ - Zach Werenski (Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky), 1:09; MTL - None
Shots: Blue Jackets 1, Canadiens 0
Overall shots: Canadiens 29, Blue Jackets 25
1:09 - GOAL - Atkinson atoned for his role in the turnover that led to the Canadiens' goal, sending a great cross-ice feed to Werenski for the shot that ended it. Werenski didn't have a great sight line of the net, but kept his stick out wide, fired a wrister and beat Lindgren inside the left post.
QUOTE: "I didn't really see much. I knew my stick was farther out than what I could see with my eyes, so it's one of those things where it's kind of cliché, like your stick can see what your eyes can't. I knew that I probably had an angle of low glove there, and I shot it there just kind of hoping it would go in, and it found its way in." - Werenski on his game-winning goal.
(All times ET)
Blue Jackets: Host the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m., FS-O, Fox Sports Go; Radio: 97.1 FM, BlueJackets.com; NHLN-US, MSG+, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)
Canadiens: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (7:30 p.m., TV: TSN2, RDS, FS-A, NHL.TV)
Video: Werenski, Bobrovsky lift Jackets past Habs in OT, 2-1