MONTREAL - Winning streaks, like all good things, must eventually come to an end.
The time for the Blue Jackets' streak to end was Monday night at Bell Centre, where the Montreal Canadiens defeated them, 3-1, to end a six-game win streak that was the longest active streak in the NHL.
Columbus (15-8-1) had plenty of chances to push it to seven, but just couldn't get it done against Carey Price, who made 37 saves. The Jackets also went 0-for-5 on power plays.
"We developed a lot of scoring chances, hit a few posts … we just couldn't score," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We had 10 [scoring] chances on the power play. Didn't score."
Columbus, which is ranked 31st in power-play percentage, is 3-for-43 in the past 15 games (6.9 percent) with the man-advantage. The Blue Jackets generated scoring opportunities against the Canadiens, including a shot by Zach Werenski that hit the crossbar, but couldn't put the puck in the net.
"I am tired of dissecting our power play," Tortorella said. "We had 10 chances on the power play. Tonight's problem was we didn't finish. We developed a lot of scoring chances on it."
Montreal scored two goals in the first 8:10 of the game, by Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin, and that was enough. Columbus got its goal from rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois late in the second period, but couldn't push one more across in the third.
Andrew Shaw scored into an empty net with 1:24 left in the third to seal it for the Canadiens (10-12-3), who won their second straight game with Price in net. Price, who returned Saturday from a 10-game injury absence, made 31 of 32 saves in the final two periods.
"They got two goals in the first, and that's what really got us," Dubois said. "We fought back, but it was a little too late. We have to play a good 60 minutes. We bounced back after it, but it was the first period that really hurt us."
Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves in his eighth straight start for the Blue Jackets, who return to Nationwide Arena on Tuesday to face the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here's how it went down:
(Corsi, scoring chance data per naturalstattrick.com)
Goals: CBJ - None; MTL - Brendan Gallagher EV (unassisted), 3:11; Jonathan Drouin PPG (Jeff Petry, Alex Galchenyuk), 8:10;
Shots: Canadiens 11, Blue Jackets 6
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Canadiens 60% (18-12), Blue Jackets 40% (12-18)
Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 7, Canadiens 7
High-Danger chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 5, Canadiens 5
3:11 - GOAL - Neither team came out of the gate flying, but the Canadiens quickly changed that after turnover by the Blue Jackets led to the game's first goal. Atkinson couldn't corral a pass near the blue line inside the Canadiens' zone, and Gallagher scooped it.
The Canadiens forward took off down the right wing, scooted to the outside of Columbus defenseman Seth Jones and fired a shot from the right face-off circle that appeared to beat Bobrovsky underneath the blocker. It was only the second time the Blue Jackets didn't score the game's first goal in their past eight games.
4:54 - Price reminded everybody that Bobrovsky wasn't the only Vezina Trophy winner on the ice in this game. The Canadiens' goalie might've gotten off to a poor start to the season, and then missed 10 games with a lower-body injury, but he appears to be back in top form.
Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno and right wing Josh Anderson found that out firsthand during an early power play. Panarin worked the puck to Foligno standing in front of the right post, and he sent a quick backhand along the ice toward the net. Price sprawled and got his left skate on it. He denied Anderson's rebound attempt with the same skate.
8:10 - GOAL - The Canadiens got their first power play, and made sure not to waste it. Montreal scored just seven seconds into it, after Drouin won the initial face-off in the Columbus zone. The puck came back to him in the left circle, and he saw Bobrovsky was screened by teammate Andrew Shaw.
Drouin wound up and sent a slap shot into the net on the far side for a 2-0 lead. Bobrovsky didn't see it until far too late.
QUOTE: "We can't start like that. It hurts us, obviously, when you get down two. In the second and third we did a lot better, but it comes back to the start." - Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner
6:08 - There are better ways to block a shot than with your face. Unfortunately, Brandon Dubinsky had no time to choose. The puck came to Montreal's Phillip Danault in the left circle and he snapped a shot that hit Dubinsky in the chest and then face, which left the Blue Jackets' center hunched over for a couple seconds as play continued. He didn't miss a shift.
15:27 - The Blue Jackets had some near misses in the first, and this was one of them. Dubois had the puck on his stick in the low portion of the right circle, inside the Canadiens' zone, and picked the far side with a quick wrist shot. Price didn't stop it, but the puck hit the left post and bounced away, preserving the Canadiens' 2-0 lead.
16:23 - If it weren't for Bobrovsky, this game could've been 4-0 Canadiens after 20 minutes. The Blue Jackets had puck-control issues all period, and a late turnover by Zach Werenski led to another good scoring chance for Charles Hudon. Bobrovsky slid over and stopped his wrist shot from the left wing.
QUOTE: "We didn't play well in the first. We played a 40-minute hockey game, and you can't do that. It's just a lousy first goal. You don't see that very often with [Bobrovsky], but I was hoping our team could pick up 'Bob,' and in the first period, we just didn't compete."
Goals: CBJ - Pierre-Luc Dubois; MTL - None
Shots: Blue Jackets 18, Canadiens 7
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 55.2% (16-13), Canadiens 44.8% (13-16)
Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 7, Canadiens 5
High-Danger chances 5v5: Canadiens 4, Blue Jackets 3
4:52 - The second period started better than the first for the Blue Jackets, who got two quick power plays within the first three minutes. Gallagher slashed Werenski 27 seconds after the puck dropped for the first one, and Drouin tripped Jenner at 2:58 for the second one.
The Jackets' struggles with the man-advantage continued, as they went 0-for-2 and dropped to 0-for-3 in the game. Werenski nearly scored with six seconds left I the second one of the back-to-back power plays, but his wrist shot rung off the crossbar and skipped into the safety netting to stop play.
QUOTE: "We were close. I think we did everything but score. A lot of shots, crossbar ... like I said, we did everything but score tonight. It's close. It's coming. We're not too worried. I think tonight was a positive sign on the power play." - Werenski on the Blue Jackets' power play performance.
8:15 - Another Blue Jackets power play. Another chance for Columbus to get on the board. Another unsuccessful opportunity, gone by the way side. After Byron Froese bowled over Bobrovsky to prompt the penalty, the Jackets put a lot of heat on Price. They just didn't score.
Boone Jenner had three shots in a span of nine seconds, including a stuff attempt from the front of the net, and Werenski fired a 60-foot slapper from above the right circle that Price turned away with his left pad.
QUOTE: "We had quite a few opportunities, but it's huge. In games like these, they got one and we didn't, and we had every opportunity. It's just about finding a way to get it done. In these games, it's crucial, the special teams. When you've got the chance, you've got to bury it." - Jenner on the Blue Jackets' power play going 0-for-5.
12:27 - The puck left the ice. It wound up in the Blue Jackets' bench, where rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois grabbed it. If this were baseball, it would've ended up in the stands, courtesy of Dubois. Instead, it's hockey and he just handed it back to the nearest official.
14:25 left - It was a bird, a plane, no … just the Canadiens' Nicolas Deslauriers chasing down a loose puck in the Columbus zone and putting a diving, one-handed shot off the left post. Impressive hand-eye trick by the checking-line forward, who went full Superman to get that shot off.
16:08 - GOAL - The Blue Jackets finally managed to get a puck behind Price, and it was no surprise that Dubois' fourth goal of the season was a hard-work tally. Josh Anderson created the scoring chance with his size and speed.
He carried into the Canadiens zone, held off defenseman Joe Morrow and had the puck slide off his stick toward the left post. Price stopped it, but the it sat there for Dubois to chip over the goalie's pad into the net. The play was reviewed for possible goaltender interference by Anderson, but the goal was upheld.
Big lift for the Jackets heading into the third period, provided by one of their best lines in this game.
QUOTE: "I don't want to blow up all the lines. This is a game for me tonight to watch [DUBOIS'] line. Can they rebound? I don't think they played that well the last game [against Ottawa], other than [Anderson] with some individual stuff. This is a big game for them, in my eyes, just because I have to keep watching it, as we're dealing with so many young guys, especially [Dubois] in the middle." - Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, prior to the game.
Goals: CBJ - None; MTL - Andrew Shaw (Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec), 18:36
Shots: Blue Jackets 14, Canadiens 10
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 69% (20-9), Canadiens 31% (9-20)
Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 6, Canadiens 5
High-Danger chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 2, Canadiens 2
Overall Corsi: Blue Jackets 55.5% (48-40), Canadiens 45.5% (40-48)
Overall 5v5 Scoring chances: Blue Jackets 20, Canadiens 17
Overall High-Danger chances: Canadiens 11, Blue Jackets 10
1:02 - Montreal nearly went up by two on a couple close calls in the first minute. Shaw, who was camped in front of Bobrovsky a lot in this game, was involved in both.
The first was a long shot by Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, who sent the puck down the slot for a funny bounce off the ice. It skipped past Shaw's screen attempt, but Bobrovsky stayed with it and stopped it with his chest. Ten seconds later, Shaw pulled the puck off the left-wing boards, used a reverse spin to create space and fired a wrist shot off the goalpost on the short side.
9:05 - Another near-miss for Columbus. Seth Jones got the puck from Werenski, his defense partner, and wound up from the outside of the right circle. His shot clipped the stick of Canadiens defenseman Jordie Benn, changed directions and then clanged off the goal post, keeping Montreal ahead 2-1. It was the third time the Blue Jackets hit either a post or the crossbar.
9:38 - Price came up with another big stop, using his left pad. Artemi Panarin won a board battle along the left wing in the Montreal zone, quickly wheeled and fired a slap shot toward the net. Price just got his left pad out in time to stop it.
10:57 - Foligno was called for roughing Danault, which gave the Canadiens their third power play. Montreal put four shots on goal, but Bobrovsky stopped them all, including one with his mask. Galchenyuk walked the puck toward the net in the right circle, fired a hard wrister and it hit Bobrovsky in the cage, knocking the mask off his head. The Jackets' goalie also stopped a rebound attempt by Shaw before the play was whistled dead.
QUOTE: "[After the first], I thought we played a good 40 minutes, but we don't find a way to beat Price and they win the game." - Tortorella
(All times ET)
Blue Jackets: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m., FS-O, Fox Sports Go; Radio: 97.1 FM, BlueJackets.com, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)
Canadiens: Host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., SN, RDS, NHL.TV)