COLUMBUS — Arber Xhekaj and David Savard scored 57 seconds apart in the third period for the Montreal Canadiens, who rallied for a 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday.
Sean Monahan also scored, and Sam Montembeault made 30 saves for the Canadiens (10-9-1), who had lost three of four, including 7-2 to the Buffalo Sabers on Tuesday.
“Obviously, you have to be happy with the defensive effort after last night,” Montreal Coach Martin St. Louis said. “I’m happy with the Mindset we had tonight. Simplified it a bit. We played a smart road game and not beat ourselves early to get through the first five or six minutes, because I feel the last two or three games that’s put us behind the eight ball.”
Video: [email protected]: Xhekaj knots the game 1-1 in the 3rd
Mathieu Olivier scored, and Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves for the Blue Jackets (7-11-1).
“Two goals inside a minute, you never want that happening,” Korpisalo said. “Early in the game we played really well. It [stinks].”
Video: [email protected]: Savard deflects in Dach’s feed in the 3rd
Montembeault made two Breakaway saves 14 seconds apart to keep the game scoreless early in the second period. He made a glove save on Olivier, who had received a pass from Eric Robinson after exiting the penalty box, at 3:24 before stopping a backhand from Gustav Nyquist at 3:38.
“It’s huge,” Montreal forward Kirby Dach said. “[Montembeault] has been great for us all year every time he’s been in the net. He gives us a lot of confidence. He makes great saves all the time, timely saves. That’s all you can ask.”
Olivier gave Columbus a 1-0 lead at 1:08 of the third period. They intercepted a weak clearing attempt by Mike Matheson and scored short side from the top of the right circle.
Xhekaj responded 90 seconds later at 2:38 to tie it 1-1, shooting through traffic from the left point.
“Every game I just tried to get pucks through,” Xhekaj said. “Those floaters have been working good for me, so I’ve got to just keep it up.”
Video: [email protected]: Olivier capitalizes off turnover in the 3rd
Savard put Montreal in front 2-1 at 3:35 when Dach’s centering pass redirected in off his left skate, and Monahan scored into an empty net at 18:07 for the 3-1 final.
“I think [Korpisalo] was solid. Two goals, (and) not much he can do on both goals,” Blue Jackets Coach Brad Larsen said. “The first period I thought we could have generated more. We got a little bit cute. We’re stopping in place and … there’s two or three times where we have odd-man situations and we don’t get anything out of it. It would have been nice to get something.
“They got two good bounces. One ran up their stick, one off a skate. Got on our heels a bit. It was a pretty solid game all the way through. It’s too bad because we were playing a heck of a game. We weren’t giving up much at all. We had some good looks ourselves.”
NOTES: The goal was Savard’s first this season. … Canadiens forward Cole Caufield had the secondary assist on Savard’s goal and has five points (three goals, two assists) on a three-game point streak. … Blue Jackets forward Jack Roslovic returned after missing two games because of an illness. They went 8-for-12 on face-offs and was minus-1 in 15:00 of ice time.