NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Montreal
(Saturday, February 23rd)
Final Score: Columbus 3, Montreal 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Pascal Leclaire made 31 saves to record his league-leading ninth shutout of the season and 10th of his career, as the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Montreal Canadiens, 3-0, at the Bell Centre.
Manny Malhotra had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who went 3-2-0 on their five-game road trip. Rick Nash and Andrew Murray also lit the lamp for Columbus.
"We didn't start our road trip in the right way," said Leclaire, who grew up in nearby Repentigny, a suburb of Montreal. "A couple of tough losses, but were able to bounce back against pretty good, solid teams and hopefully we can build a lot of momentum out of this."
Carey Price allowed three goals on 22 shots for the Canadiens, who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak.
"I'm not satisfied with some of the players' performances," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "Our goalies should be better prepared at the start of their games. Two goals on five shots by the tenth minute is not the way I like to see it happen. We gave away the puck too many times."
Despite Montreal owning the edge in shots, 11-6, in the first period, the Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead.
Off a cross-ice pass from Michael Peca, Nash buried the puck behind a sliding Price to put Columbus on the board at the 6:24 mark. Murray's shot from the left circle found the twine behind Price to give Columbus a 2-0 advantage with 9:59 to go in the frame.
In the second period, the Canadiens had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:10, but were unable to beat Leclaire, who made 12 saves in the frame. Price stopped all eight shots he faced to keep Montreal in the game.
Malhotra's first goal in 27 games sealed the Columbus win with 3:18 left in the third.
Prior to the game, Montreal honored former Canadiens captain and current team general manager Bob Gainey by retiring his No. 23 sweater. Gainey, who was a part of five Stanley Cup championships (1976-79, 86) during his 16 years (1973-89) with the club, became the 14th player in the franchise's history to have his number raised to the rafters...Montreal played host to the Blue Jackets for the first time since November 11, 2003...The Canadiens finished 0- for-6 on the power play, while Columbus went 0-for-3 with the man advantage...Montreal concludes its four-game homestand Tuesday versus Atlanta...Columbus hosts San Jose on Wednesday.
02/23 23:12:00 ET