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Montreal Canadiens take down Columbus Blue Jackets in OT

By
Heather Engel, The Sports Xchange
The Montreal Canadiens thought they scored the winning goal early in overtime, only to be denied. A few minutes later, there was no mistake as they claimed a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
The Montreal Canadiens thought they scored the winning goal early in overtime, only to be denied. A few minutes later, there was no mistake as they claimed a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens thought they scored the winning goal early in overtime, only to be denied. A few minutes later, there was no mistake.

Alex Galchenyuk scored on a power play at 3:53 of the extra session to give the Canadiens a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

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Max Pacioretty thought he'd ended it just over a minute into overtime when his shot on a breakaway appeared to cross the goal line, but it was waved off on a call that stood after a lengthy review.

"He said the goalie covered the puck. That's hard to see when it doesn't happen," Pacioretty said with a wry smile. "Genuinely, I believe I scored a goal, but it's OK. Chucky's the hero and I'm happy for Chucky."

It was the second straight overtime win for Montreal (35-21-8) after beating the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, also on a power-play goal from Galchenyuk. The center is the second Habs player this season to score the winner in overtime in consecutive games after Pacioretty did so in January.

The Canadiens have now won three in a row for the first time since then (Jan. 3-7) and moved six points up on the Ottawa Senators, who hold three games in hand.

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"We talked about getting on a roll," Galchenyuk said. "First thing was winning back-to-back and then the next step was winning at home. Now we have a day off and are back it on home ice.

"We don't want to lose too many. We haven't gotten a lot of wins recently at home in front of our fans, so we've got to find ways to keep winning."

Carey Price made 26 saves for the Canadiens and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots for the Blue Jackets.

"I think that's disappointing," Blue Jackets (39-16-6) captain Nick Foligno said of the penalty call on Seth Jones, which came after the disallowed goal. "I think that's a big game-changer at that point in the game and I don't see a penalty there. I think in overtime, especially, it better be really blatant for it to be a call. Those guys are two good referees, so it was just surprising."

The Canadiens had a couple chances early thanks to back-to-back penalties on Markus Hannikainen. Montreal tossed six shots on Bobrovsky on their first opportunity but couldn't get any by him, and then struggled to generate any offense on the second.

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Despite playing a night earlier, Montreal had energy in the second period, including one of its best opportunities early on. Artturi Lehkonen found Galchenyuk in the right circle, but the center just missed the net.

Boone Jenner came within inches of breaking the scoreless draw later in the period when he beat Price but hit the crossbar.

Moments later, Montreal had another glorious chance as Lehkonen drove up the left side on a two-on-ninie break with Brendan Gallagher, but Bobrovsky denied the rookie Finn.

Lehkonen and Gallagher came close as they wreaked havoc in a scramble in front of the net later in the period and shortly thereafter the Blue Jackets had a chance down at the other end.

"It was a great game," Pacioretty said. "A good sense of urgency, didn't feel panic at all, and the boys stuck with it. I thought we grinded down really well, especially in the second period, and that might have paid off for getting the two points."

A power play to start the third period offered nothing for the Canadiens, who later had chances from Pacioretty and Phillip Danault on multiple shifts.

"It was a fun game to be involved in," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "Both teams played well and both teams played hard. So we'll take the point, get out of here and get ready for the next one."

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NOTES:

-- D Jordie Benn, acquired Monday from the Dallas Stars, made his Canadiens debut.

-- W/C Brian Flynn and RW/C Michael McCarron drew back in after being scratched against the Devils, leaving C David Desharnais, RW Sven Andrighetto and D Nikita Nesterov as the scratches.

-- Columbus C William Karlsson missed the game with illness and D Dalton Prout was scratched.

-- Montreal announced during the first intermission that C David Desharnais was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for D Brandon Davidson.

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