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Joel Armia's third-period goal lifts Canadiens over Blue Jackets 4-2

Montreal Canadiens foward Joel Armia, right, scores a goal past Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins, left, and defenseman Erik Gudbranson during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. The Canadiens won 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) Montreal Canadiens foward Joel Armia, right, scores a goal past Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins, left, and defenseman Erik Gudbranson during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. The Canadiens won 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

Joel Armia scored the go-ahead goal with nearly three minutes left in the third period to rally the Montreal Canadiens over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Wednesday night for their third road win in four games.

Alex Newhook, Cole Caufield and Gustav Lindström also scored, Mike Matheson added two assists, and Sam Montembeault stopped 26 shots for Montreal, which ended its five-game road trip 3-2. The Canadiens have beaten Columbus in their last four match-ups, dating back to 2017.

“I thought tonight (in the) second, third, we execute in the neutral zone, and it’s a big difference," Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. "There are plenty of ways to get the puck to the other end, and you’re not always going to be able to possess it across the blue line. It’s nice to have different points of attack and different strategy of attack, and we’re working on it.”

Patrik Laine and Yegor Chinakhov scored for Columbus, and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 27 for Columbus, which has lost two of its last three outings.

“I saw a lot of mental mistakes tonight — just not as sharp, just not connected,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said. “We had a decent start. Not great. The second period, we had some push there. But overall, you could feel it the whole game, it wasn’t as connected, the intensity.”

After a scoreless first period, Columbus and Montreal traded a pair of goals in the second. Laine led off, scooping up a loose puck on the boards and notching an unassisted Columbus goal while both teams skated 4-on-4.

Newhook pulled Montreal even with a shot from the right circle at 7:36, but Columbus went back on top just over 2 minutes later when Chinakhov scored his second goal in as many games, burying the rebound of a Zach Werenski shot.

Werenski’s helper made him the first Blue Jackets defenseman with 11 assists in a single month.

Montreal came right back, with Caufield burying the rebound of a Christian Dvorak shot at 14:08.

“After we scored that second goal, the momentum really shifted on our side,” Montembeault said. “The guys were working, and we were really good at cycling the puck.”

Armia gave Montreal the game-winner at 17:03 and an empty-netter by Lindström made it 4-2 with 57 seconds remaining.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Host Florida Thursday.

Blue Jackets: Host Ottawa Friday.

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