Canadiens fall short against Blue Jackets, lose 5-1

The Montreal Canadiens failed to play as spiritedly as they have in their successes under Martin St. Louis and took a 5-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday at Nationwide Arena.

The Habs had some trouble with their defensive zone coverage early in the game and were never able to get their teeth into the game in hopes of making a comeback.

The St. Louis team has lost four of its last five games. They have just five wins in their last 18 games (5-9-4).

Ryan Poehling scored the only goal for the Habs (20-43-11). Samuel Montembeault made 26 saves.

Jack Roslovic had a brace, Patrik Laine had a goal and two assists, and Cole Sillinger and Emil Bemstrom each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (35-33-6). Jakub Voracek and Gustav Nyquist had two assists each. Elvis Merzlikins turned aside 20 shots.

Forward Tyler Pitlick and defenseman Chris Wideman were inserted into the Canadiens’ lineup. They were taking over for Jesse Ylönen and Corey Schueneman.

The Habs will be back in action on Friday and Saturday when they host the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals in order at the Bell Centre.

The Blue Jackets opened the scoring 8:36 into the game when Montembeault snuck in a shot from a tight angle by Roslovic.

The Habs had only four shots on goal at that point and did not put a shot on goal for the rest of the period.

Montembeault held down the fort, popping up a few times. He was particularly spectacular early in the second period, stretching the mitt to catch a shot from Zach Werenski.

The Habs goalie was unlucky on Roslovic’s second goal at 15:52 of the second period. Laine’s pass to Roslovic deflected off his teammate’s leg and into the net.

Montembeault couldn’t help either when Laine got the strings moving 90 seconds later on the power play. Laine took advantage of a favorable bounce from the boards and fired a shot into the slot before Montembeault had time to reposition himself.

The Habs finally got on the scoreboard with 1:51 to go in the second period. Poehling scored on the power play by deftly deflecting a shot from Nick Suzuki.

The Blue Jackets made sure not to let the Habs get too confident in their chances of a comeback. They made it 4-1 in their favor 6:24 into the third period when Sillinger deflected a shot from Bemstrom.

Bemstrom turned the tables on them by coming back with 2:22 left on the clock.

— This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 13, 2022.

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