Tomas Tatar and Joel Armia each scored twice as the visiting Montreal Canadiens earned a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
The victory gave Montreal its first four-game winning streak of the season, and a 10-4-0 record over its last 14 games. The Canadiens won for the first time in their last five games in Columbus.
The Blue Jackets outshot the Canadiens 35-26, yet Carey Price was a difference-maker for the Canadiens in net. Price stopped 34 of 35 shots, giving Montreal an 8-0 record this season when he has made 33 or more saves in a game.
Tatar gave the Canadiens an early lead 6:44 into the first period. The forward was in position to convert the rebound after Shea Weber’s point shot was stopped.
At 8:27 of the second period, Tatar scored his second goal in spectacular fashion. Phillip Danault found Tatar with a chip pass, and Tatar then put an impressive move on goalie Joonas Korpisalo to put the puck into the net.
Tatar has 16 goals on the season, though he has been in something of a feast-or-famine stretch. Tatar has goals in just two of his last 19 games, but has scored twice in each of those two games.
Oliver Bjorkstrand put the Blue Jackets on the scoresheet 5:17 into the third period. Price fumbled the puck while trying to cover for a stoppage, allowing Riley Nash to pass to an open Bjorkstrand on the other side of the net.
Armia’s first multi-goal game of the season came in unusual fashion, as the winger scored two empty-net goals in the final three minutes.
Korpisalo stopped 22 of 25 shots, but couldn’t extend his personal win streak to five games. Korpisalo continues to receive regular playing time in favour of Sergei Bobrovsky, who has started just once in the Blue Jackets’ last five outings.
The defeat snapped the Blue Jackets’ four-game winning streak.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. The Canadiens will host the Philadelphia Flyers in Montreal, while the Blue Jackets have a road date against the Minnesota Wild.