MONTREAL (AP) — Tomas Plekanec found his scoring touch just in time for the Montreal Canadiens.
Plekanec scored with 1:07 left to break a tie and added an empty-net goal to give the Canadiens a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
The Canadiens squandered a 3-0 lead and were having all they could handle in holding off the Blue Jackets' young forwards when Plekanec came over the blue line and fooled goalie Sergei Bobrovsky by taking a quick shot along the ice instead of passing to open winger Brandon Prust.
The puck went in off the goal post to give Montreal (5-2) its fourth straight win.
"I tried a no-look shot on the goalie," said Plekanec, who had been off to a slow start with only one goal in six games. "I had Prust on the left side, but I wanted to make sure I didn't make a turnover, so I put it on the net. I kind of got lucky."
The Blue Jackets got a power play in the final minute, but Plekanec was sent in alone by Prust for the empty-net goal with 16 seconds remaining. It was Montreal's second short-handed goal of the game.
"It's great, especially after a slow start for myself and our line," he said.
Michael Bournival got his first NHL goal, and Rene Bourque also scored for Montreal (5-2), which has won four in a row. P.K. Subban had two assists for 10 points in his last six games
Rookie Boone Jenner scored his first two NHL goals, and Ryan Johansen got his first of the season for Columbus (2-4), which has lost three in a row.
Jenner scored both of his goals by going to the net to pick up rebounds on power plays.
The first came during the same Columbus man advantage that Markov scored a short-handed goal on at 6:52 of the second to put the Canadiens up by three goals.
"It was pretty special," Jenner said. "We got some momentum off of it, so it was good.
"It's a pretty cool building to get it in. I watched the Habs a lot growing up in Ontario. So it's kind of cool. It's one I'll remember for sure."
The Blue Jackets, who were missing Marian Gaborik (flu) and Nathan Horton (shoulder), came out with energy but quickly trailed 2-0.