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Canadiens 5, Blue Jackets 3

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL --Tomas Plekanec scored 18:53 of the third period and added an empty-net goal to give the Montreal Canadiens a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

Plekanec, entering the Jackets' end with right-wing Brian Gionta and with a Columbus defenseman in front of him, shot from just inside the blue line, beating Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on a weak shot.

Carey Price made 30 saves for Montreal (5-2-0), which extended its winning streak to four games.

Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots for the Blue Jackets (2-4-0), who dropped their third straight.

Rene Bourque opened the scoring at 4:38 of the first period when defenseman P.K. Subban sprung him with a stretch pass through the two blue lines for a mini-breakaway.

Michael Bournival doubled the Canadiens' lead at 12:01. After some shifty work by Subban at the blue line, Andrei Markov, at the left point, found Bournival in the right circle and the rookie fired home for first NHL goal.

Markov put Montreal up by three 6:52 into the second period on the penalty kill when he fired a slap shot from the blue line past a screened Bobrovsky. It was the Canadiens' second short-handed goal of the season.

On the same power play, Blue Jackets rookie Boone Jenner got the visitors on the board at 7:41. Price made the save on Ryan Johansen's initial shot but Jenner cleaned up the rebound in the crease for his first NHL tally.

Johansen cut the deficit to a goal at 17:11 when he beat Price glove side on a 2-on-1.

Columbus tied the game on the power play at 4:35 of the third period. After the Blue Jackets won the draw, Jenner found a rebound of a Mark Letestu point shot and backhanded it over a sprawled Price for his second of the night.

NOTES: After missing the morning skate with the flu, Canadiens LW Rene Bourque was in the lineup. ... D Nathan Beaulieu was a healthy scratch while LW Max Pacioretty missed the game after suffering a lower-body injury on Tuesday against the Jets in Winnipeg. ... The Blue Jackets were without RW Marian Gaborik (illness), LW Nick Foligno and D Dalton Prout. ... With his assist in the second period, D Andrei Markov moved into 23rd on the Canadiens' all-time assists list with 311, passing Bobby Smith. ... Montreal D Francis Bouillon celebrated his 38th birthday. ... Columbus D David Savard, from nearby St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, played his first game in Montreal. ... The 22-year-old was selected by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL draft, which was held at the Bell Centre. ... The game was the first of a five-game homestand for Montreal. ... The Blue Jackets will conclude a three-game road trip Saturday night in Washington.
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