BLUE JACKETS 1 | CANADIENS 3
David Savard Post Game
Matt Calvert Post Game
ANALYSIS: The second period came to an entertaining conclusion, however, the score remains the same as we head to the third period in Montreal. Cam Atkinson’s wrist shot from the slot ricocheted off both goal posts and went out the other side as time expired in the second period, and that’s all that separated a 2-1 game from a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes. The Blue Jackets played a better second period, won more battles and didn’t spend extended periods in their own zone — and at the root of that was their sustained pressure in the offensive zone. They’ll need more of that and maybe a power play goal or two down the stretch, but also, to stay out of the penalty box themselves and not give Montreal’s power play another opportunity.
ANALYSIS: After a rough start to the game, the Blue Jackets got their feet beneath them and started to play a physical, forechecking game later in the first period. Montreal scored two early goals — both off the stick of Max Pacioretty, who has had his way with Columbus this season — to take a 2-0 lead in the first 13 minutes. The Blue Jackets got a prompt and much-needed response goal 62 seconds later, courtesy of a strong power move to the net by Artem Anisimov. Initially, it looked as though Nick Foligno got a piece of the rebound and slid the puck behind Carey Price, but official credit was given to Anisimov. That was a big goal for the Jackets and they played well from that point forward, carrying a little momentum into the dressing room at the Bell Centre. Shots are 13-10 favoring the Canadiens.
Artem Anisimov Goal
David Savard Pregame
Alexander Wennberg Pregame
Todd Richards Pregame
UPDATE (12:00 P.M.): Curtis McElhinney was first off the ice and will start for the Blue Jackets tonight in Montreal.
UPDATE (11:50 A.M.): Courtesy of Jody Shelley, here are the Blue Jackets lines and pairs from the morning skate...
Bonjour, Blue Jackets fans!
The Blue Jackets are in Montreal and hope to push their winning streak to three straight against the Eastern Conference-leading Canadiens. The Canadiens are a tough out at Bell Centre, but that home comfort has been a bit less secure in recent weeks, however, as the Canadiens have gone to overtime in their last four home games and have a 2-2 record in those overtimes and shootouts, including a shootout loss to the Panthers on Thursday.
The Canadiens feature a superstar at every position, including leading scorer Max Pacioretty (27-23-50), a Norris Trophy winner in P.K. Subban, and Vezina candidate Carey Price. The Blue Jackets will counter not only with their leading scorers in Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno, but also with a red-hot line centered by Brandon Dubinsky and a goaltender in Curtis McElhinney who is playing as well as anyone in the league.
Here are a few more game day nuggets...
- The Canadiens are the top team in the East, but they've had their troubles against the lower half of the league. In February alone, they have dropped games against Buffalo, Arizona, Florida, and Ottawa. They are only 4-4-2 since the beginning of January against teams currently outside the playoff picture.
- Brandon Dubinsky is in the midst of a career-high four-game goal scoring streak (4-2-6), while line mate Cam Atkinson has four goals and six points in the past seven games and Matt Calvert has two goals and four points in his past three. Scott Hartnell's points streak is at eight games (4-7-11).
- Reports out of Montreal indicate that Subban will be in the lineup tonight. He had been banged up bit did not miss games and is expected to go tonight. Alex Galchenyuk will not play, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.
- Sergei Bobrovsky continues to work his way back from injury and took part in today's morning skate in Montreal. It's possible Bobrovsky could make enough progress to work his way into the discussion for next week.