Tomas Tatar scores twice in Canadiens 4-1 win over Blue Jackets
|Montreal Gazette 18 Jan 2019 at 19:17|
Carey Price and the Canadiens made sure it was a relatively quiet night Friday as they defeated the Blue Jackets 4-1 before a sellout crowd. There was a blast before the game started and another one at 5:17 of the third period when Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the lone Columbus goal. His shot on a scramble in front of the net spoiled Price’s bid for his third shoutout of the new year.
This was yet another game in which the Canadiens allowed the opposition to take too many shots on goal, but Price kept the Blue Jackets at bay while Tomas Tatar scored in each of the first two periods to give Montreal a 2-0 lead despite being outshot 25-16 in the first two periods.
Montreal played tighter defence in the third period as they limited Columbus to nine shots on goal. After Bjorkstrand’s goal, Price kept the Canadiens on top when he stopped Ryan Murray on a breakaway midway through the period. Joel Armia sealed the win with two goals, including one into the empty net.
Tatar opened the scoring at 6:44 of the first period, but much of the credit has to go to the two players who earned the assists on the goal. Michael Chaput got things rolling when he knocked Artemi Panarin off the puck at centre ice. Joonas Korpisalo stopped Chaput’s shot off the rush, but the puck came back to Shea Weber , who unloaded one of his trademark slapshots from the point. Korpisalo made the stop, but the rebound came out to Tatar and Korpisalo left him a gaping hole on the blocker side.
The Canadiens started the second period on a power play and not only did they fail to get a shot with the extra man but they proceeded to go 8:27 before they registered their first shot of the period. But it was a beauty as Tatar scored his second goal of the night and his 16th of the season. Phillip Danault pushed the puck ahead to Tatar on a rush and the Czech skated around defenceman Markus Nutivaara. Tatar stopped in front of Korpisalo and paused before roofing the puck on the goaltender’s blocker side.
The Canadiens should consider petitioning the league to allow them to decline penalties. The Canadiens have the worst power play in the league and there were no signs of improvement in this game. Montreal went on the power play three times and failed to get a shot on goal. The Blue Jackets had two power plays and managed three shots on goal.
The Canadiens left Columbus on Friday night ahead of a snowstorm and will be back at the Bell Centre on Saturday to play the Philadelphia Flyers ().