MONTREAL - The Canadiens fell 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, giving them a split in their annual Tim Hortons Family Weekend at the Bell Centre.
Sunday was day two of Tim Hortons Family Weekend at the Bell Centre. Special roles were given to young fans throughout the afternoon, including a superb rendition of the American and Canadian national anthems by 16-year-old Ari Skye.
The Habs kept the Blue Jackets busy in their own end for much of the opening frame, but it would be Columbus who got on the first. Vladislav Gavrikov opened the scoring at the 12:45 mark to make it 1-0 Blue Jackets.
That's where the score would stand after 20, with the teams tied in shots with 10 apiece.
In the second, the Blue Jackets doubled their lead when Pierre-Luc Dubois broke free and beat Carey Price with a backhander 3:31 into the period.
The Habs tied things up as the midway point of the game approached. Shortly after coming out of the box on a slashing penalty, Tomas Tatar accepted a pass from Brendan Gallagher and wristed it from the hash marks, beating Columbus netminder Elvis Merzlikins glove-side.
That made Tatar the first Montreal skater to reach the 20-goal mark this season, and he also became the first Hab to score 20 in each of his first two seasons since Brian Gionta did it in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Gallagher and Nick Suzuki earned assists on the play. Gallagher has collected a point in each of the games he's played since his return, while Suzuki extended his points streak to four games.
Dubois added his second of the night on a wraparound to give his team a two-goal lead again with 2:08 to go in the second.
The Habs outshot the Jackets 11-9 in the period, but headed to the room down 3-1 after 40.
In the third, Max Domi made it close when his shot from the faceoff circle found its way through traffic and past Merzlikins for his 13th of the season with 4:08 left in regulation. Domi scored while playing in his 250th consecutive game.
Ben Chiarot and Nick Cousins got the assists on the tally.
Gustav Nyquist added an empty-netter with 1:53 left to play.
The Habs weren't done yet, however, as Shea Weber blasted a one-timer from the point that made it a 4-3 game with 1:01 remaining, but Montreal couldn't even things up before time expired.