COLUMBUS, Ohio — The good news for the Canadiens is they get to go back home.
The bad news is that Montreal is expecting a snowstorm on Tuesday — which sort of sums up this season for the Canadiens.
The Canadiens ended a 12-day, six-game road trip with a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday night at Nationwide Arena. The Canadiens finished the road trip with a 1-3-2 record and are now 9-22-4 on the road, the worst record in the NHL.
Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin scored for the Canadiens. For Gallagher it was his career-high 25th of the season, beating the 24 he scored during the 2014-15 season. For Drouin, it was only his 11th of the season.
Defenceman Seth Jones scored two power-play goals for the Blue Jackets, while Nick Foligno, Boone Jenner and Ian Cole added singles.
Coming into the game, the Blue Jackets had the worst power play in the NHL, clicking at only 14.5 per cent, while the Canadiens ranked 28th in penalty killing with a 78.3 per cent success rate. The Blue Jackets finished 2-for-3 on the power play for the night, while the Canadiens were 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Jones now has five goals and two assists in the last three games, giving him 15-33-48 totals for the season, and the Blue Jackets have won six in a row at home as they cling to a playoff spot, something that is only a distant memory for the Canadiens.
More bad news for the Canadiens is that they won’t get much rest at home with another game Tuesday night against Alexander Radulov and the Dallas Stars at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
The good news is the Canadiens are 16-10-8 at home.
Quick start: Gallagher opened the scoring only 34 seconds into the game on the Canadiens’ first shot when he was left alone in front of the Blue Jackets net and deflected a high point shot by Jeff Petry past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Foligno tied it up at 4:17, banging in a loose puck in front of goalie Charlie Lindgren and defencemen Petry and Jordie Benn. Jones scored his first power-play goal at 7:51 with Petry in the box for tripping and his second at 14:03 with Nicolas Deslauriers in the box for tripping. Both of Jones’s shots were from the point as the Blue Jackets outshot the Canadiens 11-10 in the first period and led 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Second effort: The Blue Jackets took a 4-1 lead at 2:34 of the second period when Jenner drove hard to the net past a back-checking Jacob de la Rose and managed to deflect a centring pass from the left wing by Alexander Wennberg that Lindgren made a nice toe save on, but Jenner was still able to bang home the rebound. Drouin cut the lead to 4-2 when he scored with a beautiful backhand move up high on Bobrovsky at 15:46 of the second period, which ended with that score and the total shots 20-16 for Columbus.
Protecting the lead: The Blue Jackets and Bobrovsky protected their two-goal lead in the third period before Cole scored at 17:41. The final shots were 40-25 for the Canadiens, who put up a good fight in the third period, but it wasn’t enough.