Cam Atkinson had his third-career hat trick and Brandon Saad scored twice to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the struggling Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Monday night to end a three-game losing streak.
Atkinson’s linemates Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner each had three assists and rookie Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 32 shots.
Montreal’s P.K. Subban tied it 2-2 midway through the second, but Columbus scored three goals in the third, including a go-ahead score from Saad 9:06 into the period.
Subban and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist and Mike Condon made 20 saves for Montreal, which hasn’t won consecutive games since late November.
Columbus played a second straight game without coach John Tortorella after he broke two ribs falling after a collision with a player at practice Friday.
Montreal is 7-17-2 since last season’s Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price suffered a lower-body injury on Nov. 25. It was 17-4-2 when Price went down, and the goalie is expected to miss another three weeks.
Saad made it 3-2 by driving in a loose puck that caromed to him off Jeff Petry’s skate.
Max Pacioretty nearly got the goal right back by bullying his way to the net, but Korpisalo turned the close-range shot aside.
Saad scored his 18th into an empty net at 18:48, and Atkinson finished a tic-tac-toe passing combination with Dubinsky and Jenner at 19:35 to score his 16th.
Gallagher benefited from two fortuitous deflections on a 5-on-3 power play to give Montreal a 1-0 lead at 10:39 of the first period. His pass banked off Gregory Campbell’s stick and Jack Johnson’s glove before going in.
Four minutes later, more ping-pong puck action proved lucky, this time for Columbus. The puck eventually came to Dubinsky and he made a short touch pass to Atkinson, who scored on a one-timer from the low slot.
Atkinson made it 2-1 at 2:52 of the second period, circling out of the left corner and netting a backhander inside the near post.
Subban drew Montreal even on what initially looked like an innocent play. Pulling his stick back a stride inside the centre red line, Subban rifled a high shot that made its way past a surprised Korpisalo at 8:36.