MONTREAL — Another win slipped through their fingers in overtime, but the Blue Jackets left raucous Bell Centre on Thursday night with a four-game point streak.
Cole Caufield lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 comeback win over the Jackets on a goal with 47 seconds left in OT, finally putting an end to a game filled with physicality, controversial calls, 15 total penalties and clutch saves both ways. Columbus had several chances to win it during a power play that stretched from the end of regulation into the start of OT, but the Canadiens (4-2-1) dodged them all.
“We had our chances,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said. “But it was a well-played game for both teams … a lot of speed, lots of intensity, a physical game. I thought the penalties are something that changes momentum.”
The OT loss was the second in a row for the Blue Jackets, who also lost a late lead Tuesday in a 3-2 OT loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Prior to their consecutive overtime defeats, the Jackets swept a weekend back-to-back against the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild.
Emil Bemstrom scored two goals and Jack Roslovic had three points on a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets (3-2-2), who got 25 saves from Elvis Merzlikins. Mike Matheson, Nick Suzuki and Sean Monahan scored for the Canadiens, who started Samuel Montembeault (33 saves).
Columbus went 2 for 4 on power plays and Montreal cashed in twice on five man-advantages.
The Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead in the first on goals by Roslovic and Bemstrom, who capped a power play with a one-timer from the left circle. Montreal cut it to 2-1 on Suzuki’s goal 27 seconds into the second, but Bemstrom pushed it to 3-1 on another power play with 6:26 left in the second.
Matheson scored on a power play late in the second to cut the Jackets’ lead to 3-2, not long after the Canadiens got away with slashing Adam Fantilli’s stick in half, and Monahan tied it 3-3 in the third with Fantilli in the box for interference.
The Blue Jackets’ next game is against the New York Islanders on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens: turning point
It looked like the Blue Jackets might carry a 3-1 lead into the third period until Damon Severson was called for interference with 1:12 left on the clock.
Moments before Severson’s penalty, Suzuki slashed Adam Fantilli’s stick in half behind the Canadiens’ net and wasn’t called for it. The no-call drew the ire of the Blue Jackets’ star rookie and Vincent, who shouted at the officials to no avail. Matheson soon cut the Jackets’ lead to 3-2 with 17 seconds left in the period to cap the power play.
“The broken stick on Fantilli changed the momentum of the game, but we had our chances,” Vincent said.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens: play of the game
Bemstrom’s second goal was set up by two high-end passes inside the Canadiens’ zone during a power play late in the second period. Rookie Dmitri Voronkov slid a nice pass to Roslovic along the left-wing wall under pressure to get it started. Roslovic carried to slot and dished a feed to Bemstrom just outside the left post. His shot was on target for a 3-1 lead.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens: Dispatch 3 stars
Cole Caufield, Canadiens, left wing
Finished with three points on a goal and two assists, including the OT winner
Samuel Montembeault, Canadiens, goalie
Made 33 saves to keep Montreal in a game it was outshot 36-29.
Jack Roslovic, Blue Jackets, right wing
Extended a point streak to four games with a goal and two assists.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens: notes
― Dmitri Voronkov made his NHL debut for the Blue Jackets. He skated at left wing on the fourth line with Sean Kuraly and Mathieu Olivier to form a heavy, imposing line of checking forwards. Voronkov is listed at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and provides an intriguing combination of size, strength, skill and snarl. He showed all those qualities in his first NHL game, including his first fight and first point with an assist on Bemstrom’s goal in the second.
― Kent Johnson, drafted fifth overall in 2021, came out of the Blue Jackets’ lineup to make room for Voronkov’s debut. It was the second healthy scratch for the skilled forward in the Jackets’ first seven games.
— The Blue Jackets made a couple changes to their power play units after going 1 for 7 in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Justin Danforth joined the first unit in the “bumper” position located in the middle of the 1-3-1 setup and Voronkov played the net-front role for the second unit.
Columbus Blue Jackets lineup at Montreal Canadiens
Johnny Gaudreau – Boone Jenner – Jack Roslovic
Alexandre Texier – Adam Fantilli – Emil Bemstrom
Kirill Marchenko – Cole Sillinger – Justin Danforth
Dmitri Voronkov – Sean Kuraly – Mathieu Olivier
Zach Werenski – Damon Severson
Ivan Provorov – David Jiricek
Jake Bean – Erik Gudbranson
Scratched: F Kent Johnson, D Andrew Peeke, D Adam Boqvist
Injured: C Patrik Laine (upper body)
Injured/non-roster: G Daniil Tarasov (knee)
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets breakdown: Montreal Canadiens spoil impressive effort