Blue Jackets crush Canadiens, Al Montoya in historic 10-0 win

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COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 4: Scott Hartnell #43 of the Columbus Blue Jackets scores on goaltender Al Montoya #35 of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of a game on November 4, 2016 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Scott Hartnell of the Columbus Blue Jackets scores on goaltender Al Montoya of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of a game on November 4, 2016 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Getty Images)

Montreal Canadiens backup goaltender Al Montoya took one for the team on Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a historic 10-0 loss at Nationwide Arena.

Starter Carey Price had faced 80 shots on goal in his previous two starts and stopped 79 of them. With the Habs playing the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday the team’s coaching staff opted to keep their star netminder on the bench as Montoya faced non-stop scoring opportunities from the Blue Jackets.

“We saw it coming. Like in baseball, we saw it coming like a big curveball. When you keep doing bad things, eventually you’re going to get burned. We saw it coming with the way we played last game (against Vancouver),” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “It’s tough. I don’t think I’ve experienced something like this before. There isn’t anything positive to take away from tonight’s game.”

Montoya became the first Canadiens goaltender to allow 10 goals in a game since Andre Racicot on Dec. 13, 1992 against the New York Rangers. The Blue Jackets were the first team to post a 10-0 shutout since the Calgary Flames against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 2, 1996.

The loss matched the worst shutout loss in Canadiens history. It was the fourth time a 10-0 blanking had happened to the organization, but first time since 1942 against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Blue Jackets became the first team to score 10 goals in an NHL regular season game since March 30, 2011.

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The Blue Jackets out-shot the Canadiens 40-30.

“Every guy who had a chance, buried it,” Columbus forward Nick Foligno said. “It’s kind of unheard of in this game.”

Montoya had been a big reason why the Habs had gotten off to a strong start at 9-0-1 before Friday. The veteran backup, who was signed in the offseason, held a 1.47 goal-against average and .955 save percentage in four contests coming into the game against Columbus.

The Blue Jackets were up 3-0 after the first period, and then broke the game open in the second period. Columbus scored five goals to tie a franchise record for most goals scored by the team in a single game, with eight.

Forwards Cam Atikinson and Scott Hartnell scored two goals. Forward Alexander Wennberg notched four assists and Foligno scored two goals and added an assist. Forward Josh Anderson also scored two goals and added an assist.

Hartnell gave the Blue Jackets their ninth goal of the game with a nifty deflection off a shot from Seth Jones at the 8:06 mark of the third.

Anderson put a backhand past Montoya for the 10th goal at the 10:45 mark of the third.

When the score was 8-0, even linesman Vaughan Rody felt the need to console Montoya.

The surprising Blue Jackets moved to 5-3-1 on the season. They have won five of their last seven after losing their first two games in regulation.

The stat line for the Canadiens wasn’t pretty. Defensemen Andrei Markov and Jeff Petry were both minus-4. Forwards Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais were each a minus-3. The Blue Jackets did most of their damage on the power play where they were 4-for-5.

Last year, Montreal fell off after Price suffered an MCL injury early in the season. Part of the reason why the Habs got Montoya was so he could spell Price in games where the 2015 Hart Trophy winner needed a rest. Friday was one of those nights and it was unfortunately a historic one for Montoya in the worst way possible.

“We had problems in our last game and it’s frustrating,” Pacioretty said. “We’ve done a lot of good things lately but it hasn’t been perfect. The reason why we’ve won so many games is we’ve stuck together and played for one another. Tonight, we left Monty out to dry and that’s frustrating because we pride ourselves about being such a close group.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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