NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Columbus|
(Sunday, February 18th)
Final Score: Montreal 3, Columbus 2
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves in his NHL debut
to guide the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at
Saku Koivu, Michael Ryder and Francis Bouillon all scored for the Canadiens,
who snapped a six-game losing streak. Koivu and Ryder also added primary
assists in the win.
Halak was called into action after Cristobal Huet suffered a hamstring tear in
Montreal's 5-2 loss at New Jersey on Wednesday. Huet was expected to undergo
surgery on Sunday, and will be out indefinitely.
Nikolai Zherdev and Gilbert Brule both had goals in the third period for
Columbus, which has dropped six of its last eight contests. Pascal Leclaire
made 25 stops in a losing effort.
Montreal erupted for three goals in the second period to assume control.
The first goal of the game came 18 seconds into the stanza, as Ryder took a
feed from Koivu along the left side of the net and snuck a shot past Leclaire
for the power-play marker.
The Canadiens broke out on an odd-man rush moments later, with Ryder
barreling into the zone before a deke past the lone defender. With the
attention squarely on him, Ryder dished the puck to Koivu, who tucked the puck
home from the doorstep.
Bouillon's wrister from the point with 11:23 left in the second made it
through traffic and into the back of the net to make it a three-goal game.
Zherdev got his club on the board 8:05 into the third, and Brule beat Halak
with a wrist shot from the left circle just over three minutes later to make
The Blue Jackets applied heavy pressure in the closing seconds with their
goalie pulled, but came away empty.
Columbus went 2-4 on its franchise-long six-game homestand. The Blue Jackets
are 14-14-3 at Nationwide Arena for the campaign...This clash marked the first
encounter between these teams since they fought to a 1-1 tie in Montreal on
November 11, 2003. The Canadiens have only visited Columbus one other time
previously, back on October 12, 2001. The Habs came away with a 3-1 decision.
02/18 20:59:21 ET