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Desharnais' shootout goal lifts Canadiens, 3-2

  • Article by: RUSTY MILLER
  • Associated Press
  • November 15, 2013 - 9:25 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — David Desharnais scored the only goal in the shootout and Peter Budaj stopped all three shots he faced in the tiebreaker to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Montreal's regulation goals came from Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller, with Budaj registering 23 stops through overtime.

R.J. Umberger and Artem Anisimov had first-period goals for the Blue Jackets. Curtis McElhinney made 38 saves.

The game pitted teams that have been struggling. The Canadiens had lost five of six (1-3-2), and the Blue Jackets have now dropped eight of nine (1-6-2).

In the shootout, Desharnais took his turn after the first three shooters were stopped. He came in and netted a hard forehand on McElhinney's stick side.

Budaj, giving starter Carey Price a night off before the Canadiens face the New York Rangers at home on Saturday night, had earlier stopped Mark Letestu and Anisimov. He blocked Ryan Johansen's forehand attempt to clinch the win.

The Blue Jackets sustained a major blow earlier Friday when it was revealed that right wing Marian Gaborik would miss four to six weeks after spraining his left knee in a 3-2 overtime loss at Boston on Thursday.

The Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead in the first period, one on a gift, but then helped give one right back in the final seconds.

The first came at 15:33 when Umberger was at the short boards on the left wing and fired a shot that Budaj missed because of a screen in front.

Columbus continued to pressure, and David Savard's slap shot from the top of the right circle clanged off the post. Seconds later, Anisimov took a backhand swing at a loose puck that appeared to ramp off a Canadiens stick. The puck sailed high, and with Jared Boll on his back in the crease while bumping into Budaj, the puck lazily bounced into the net.

After the Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson and Montreal's Brandon Prust went off with concurrent penalties, the Canadiens also picked up a goofy goal.

Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin whiffed twice on a pass at the blue line, and Galchenyuk swooped in to retrieve the puck. He deked McElhinney and lifted the puck with a forehand for his fourth of the season, scored with just 8 seconds left in the period.

The Canadiens tied it on the power play at 7:34 of the second. They had gotten several prime opportunities on their first attempt with a man advantage. This time Daniel Briere had a clear shot from the high slot, but McElhinney blocked it. The rebound squirted off to the right doorstep where Eller jammed it in under McElhinney's right arm for his seventh goal.

Late in overtime, Budaj made a couple of sterling stops, blocking a backhander by Blake Comeau and then getting in front of Brandon Dubinsky's slap shot and a hard blast by Nikita Nikitin with just 9.4 seconds remaining.

NOTES: LW Prust returned to the Montreal lineup after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury. ... Columbus LW Matt Calvert, who has missed several weeks after abdominal surgery, and rookie C Boone Jenner, missing his ninth game with a leg injury, are both skating. They could be available when the Blue Jackets start a season-high, five-game road trip on Sunday at Ottawa. ... Montreal killed 36 seconds of 3-on-5 in the first period.

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