Winning streak ends
And the race for playoff spots tightens.
Columbus is in a more desperate battle – and they played like it.
The Blue Jackets are big, fast and physical. They dominated play for long stretches.
The spectacular Ryan Johansen scored the third-period winner after a brutal Jarred Tinordi turnover.
Brandon Dubinsky and Derek MacKenzie scored the other Columbus goals.
Brendan Gallagher, on a first-period power play, and Thomas Vanek got the Canadiens' goals.
Columbus outshot the home side 40-27.
Jarred Tinordi bobbled the puck in the vicinity of Ryan Johansen.
Not a good idea.
Johansen, who had played a spectacular game, beat Carey Price for the winner.
Full value for their lead
Columbus is winning all the little battles and got the only goal of the second period, from Brandon Dubinsky.
Visitors outshot the Canadiens 13-7, 29-19 over 40 minutes.
The Canadiens' PK killed a two-man disadvantage.
Terrific 20 minutes
The game got off to a roaring start when Carey Price stopped Cam Atkinson on a breakawy eight seconds in.
That was the first of 16 shots the visitors directed at Price. The Canadiens had a dozen on Sergei Bobrovsky.
Brendan Gallagher got the Canadiens on the board with his 18th, a power-play goal from close in.
Derek MacKenzie tied it off a set play: After the Canadiens iced the puck on a power play, Mark Letestu won a faceoff and got off a shot that Price bobbled. MacKenzie crashed the net and batted it home.
Max Paciorett and Ruyan Johansen had a spirited fight that ended with the Blue Jacket on the deck.
The Canadiens have won both previous meetings with the Blue Jackets: 5-3 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 17 and 3-2 at Columbus on Nov. 15.
David Desharnais's Shootout goal in the second game is credited with kick-starting his season.
Well, that and being dissed by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre.
Columbus is desperately fighting for a playoff spot, and the Blue Jackets have garnered 13 points in their last 18 games.
The Canadiens are riding a three-game winning streak and sit seven points north of the cutoff for postseason berths.
Columbus forward lines: Jenner-Johansen-Horton, Foligno-Anisimov-Tropp, Calvert-Dubinsky-Atkinson, MacKenzie-Letestu-Comeau
Puck drops 7:40ish.
Check back later for live game blogging.