National Hockey League
Preview
Columbus at Montreal
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the few teams that have come back stronger after the league-mandated “bye week” and look to ride that momentum when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets were 4-4-1 this month before taking five days off, then rolled over the New York Islanders 7-0 on Saturday and the New York Rangers 5-2 a day later.

“Coming off a break, and playing six periods like we have. … you need to feel good about your team, and I do,” Columbus coach John Tortorella told reporters. “We talked about that five-day break, about wetting our pants, about ‘What are we gonna look like?’ We’ve probably played six of our best periods of the year.” The Canadiens have won three - all after regulation - of their last four games after rallying to beat New Jersey 4-3 in overtime on Monday on Alex Galchenyuk’s goal. Montreal pushed its lead over second-place Ottawa in the Atlantic Division to four points and improved to 3-2-0 since Claude Julien began his second stint as the team's coach. Former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price was rested Monday and should be in net for the Canadiens after allowing two goals in each of his last four contests, winning two of them.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Columbus), Sportsnet East, RDS (Montreal)

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (39-16-5): Alexander Wennberg is warming up again, recording two goals and six assists over his last five games to push his season total to 53 points – one behind team leader Cam Atkinson. The 27-year-old Atkinson hasn’t slowed down either, scoring twice against the Rangers, and needs one to become the seventh player in club history to record 30 goals in a season. Rookie Zach Werenski has registered six points in his last five games and fellow defenseman David Savard has contributed a goal and three assists in the past two contests.

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (34-21-8): Alexander Radulov snapped out of a six-game point drought Monday with a goal and three assists, pushing his season total to 46 points – second on the team. Captain Max Pacioretty leads the club with 31 goals and 55 points after scoring three times in his last two games while Galchenyuk has tallied in each of his last two contests while also adding an assist. Montreal netted a power-play goal Monday but is just 4-for-34 with the man advantage over its last 13 games, while its penalty-killing unit is 19-for-21 over the past seven contests.

OVERTIME

1. Columbus C Sam Gagner has notched a point in each of his last two contests after suffering through a nine-game drought.

2. Montreal acquired Jordie Benn from Dallas on Monday for fellow D Greg Pateryn and a 2017 fourth-round draft pick.

3. The Blue Jackets have won four straight meetings, including a pair this season in Columbus during which they've outscored the Canadiens 12-2.

PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 4, Canadiens 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Columbus 39-16-4-1 W2 22-9-1-0 17-7-3-1 8-0-0-0 31-16-4-1 12-6-1-0
Montreal 34-21-6-2 W2 18-9-3-1 16-12-3-1 1-3-0-1 33-18-6-1 12-3-4-1
Last Meeting
Columbus Montreal
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/23/16 MON 1 CLB 2 24 36 1-4 37 22 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Columbus N. Foligno 2
Montreal M. Barberio 1
Goals Player  
Columbus S. Gagner 1
Montreal J. Petry 1
Assists Player  
Columbus N. Foligno 2
Montreal M. Barberio 1
Saves Player  
Columbus S. Bobrovsky 36
Montreal A. Montoya 22
Season
Total Points Player  
Columbus C. Atkinson 57
Montreal M. Pacioretty 57
Goals Player  
Columbus C. Atkinson 29
Montreal M. Pacioretty 31
Assists Player  
Columbus A. Wennberg 43
Montreal A. Radulov 35
Saves Player  
Columbus S. Bobrovsky 1338
Montreal C. Price 1306
Quickchart Matchup
Columbus Off vs  Montreal Def
3.28 GF
2.56 GA
31 Shots
30 Shots
37 PP
43 PK
Montreal Off vs  Columbus Def
2.76 GF
2.4 GA
29.3 Shots
30.1 Shots
40 PP
28 PK