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game recap

Canadiens win fourth straight, end Blue Jackets streak

Price makes 34 saves for Montreal to keep Columbus from fifth in row

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

Price's juggling glove save

MTL@CBJ: Price denies Wennberg with glove

Alexander Wennberg lets go of a steady wrister on the rush, but Carey Price hangs on for the save after bobbling the puck with his glove

  • 00:37 •

COLUMBUS -- The Montreal Canadiens extended their winning streak to a season-high four games by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 at Nationwide Arena on Friday.

Tomas Tatar and Joel Armia each scored twice, and Carey Price made 34 saves for the Canadiens (27-17-5), who have won five of six and allowed two or fewer goals in eight of the past 10 games.

"For everybody, this is a tough building to play in," Tatar said. "They have a great team on the other side. I think we can play against anybody in the League when we play great hockey."

 

[WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets highlights]

 

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored and Joonas Korpisalo made 22 saves for the Blue Jackets (28-16-3), who had won four in a row.

"We knew they were a quick team, but I don't think we moved the puck fast enough," Columbus center Pierre-Luc Dubois said. "I don't think we got open fast enough.

"We've played good teams before. That's how you beat them. You're moving. You find the open space and move the puck fast. I don't think we did that tonight."

Tatar put the Canadiens up 1-0 at 6:44 of the first period. Korpisalo couldn't control Shea Weber's shot from the right point, and Tatar was alone to the left of the crease for his first goal in 11 games, since scoring twice Dec. 28 against the Florida Panthers.

Video: MTL@CBJ: Tatar cleans up Weber's rebound in front

"If [Korpisalo] he catches it, it's a face-off," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "It started with a turnover in the neutral zone.

"He didn't look himself the first few minutes of the game, but he played well after that."

Tatar made it 2-0 at 8:27 of the second period on Montreal's first shot in a span of 17:38. He took a pass from Phillip Danault for a partial breakaway, lost control of the puck as he approached the net but regained it.

Artemi Panarin hit the crossbar midway through the first period as did Seth Jones on a redirect with less than four minutes left in the second.

"We certainly didn't finish," Tortorella said. "We had some chances, four posts. I still don't think we were totally clean with our passing. We played well enough to at least get a point out of that, but we don't."

Video: MTL@CBJ: Tatar goes top shelf for second goal

The Blue Jackets made it 2-1 at 5:17 of the third period. Price saved a Jones shot, and the rebound came to Riley Nash, who poked the puck to Bjorkstrand.

Price stopped Ryan Murray with 10 minutes left after he broke free off a pass from Alexander Wennberg. Josh Anderson had a backhand from a centering pass by Boone Jenner with 6:47 left that Price saved with his right pad.

Armia scored at 17:46 as Korpisalo was leaving the ice for an extra attacker, and at 18:48 into an empty net with Max Domi assisting on each to make it 4-1.

"I liked the way our team handled the third period," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "We didn't stop playing but we didn't give them much. We closed the play quickly. We got the pucks in deep. We were doing the right things.

"Big win in this building against a team that's been extremely hot and doing well as of late."

Video: MTL@CBJ: Price stares down Murray on breakaway

The Canadiens are one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.

"We're not really focused on what the [Maple] Leafs are doing," Price said. "We're just trying to put points on the board and keep going."

 

They said it

"We're in playoff mentality right now. We're playing for a playoff spot. We need wins and every night we show up. That's a good thing." -- Canadiens forward Phillip Danault

 

"We seemed like we messed up tonight. We hit a few posts and got close a few times. I guess it was one of those nights." -- Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand

Video: MTL@CBJ: Nash sets up Bjorkstrand down low

 

Need to know

Canadiens forward Paul Byron served the first of a three-game suspension for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday. Byron is eligible to return Feb. 2 against the New Jersey Devils. ... The Canadiens were 0-for-3 on the power play and are 2-for-26 in the past 10 games. ... Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky played 13:30 after missing four games with a hamstring injury. Anthony Duclair was scratched. ... Korpisalo has started two straight and four of the past five games instead of Sergei Bobrovsky. ... The Blue Jackets have killed 19 straight shorthanded situations over the past nine games.

 

What's next

Canadiens: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, CBC, SNE, SNO, TVA, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Video: Canadiens win fourth straight behind Tatar, Price

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