COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Blue Jackets made it 12 straight wins Friday night, defeating the Canadiens 2-1 to maintain the best record in the NHL.
Columbus improved to 23-5-4 — its best start in franchise history — and has not lost since Nov. 26. Montreal, which outshot Columbus 37-24, fell to 21-9-4.
The win was a league-leading 20th for goalie Sergei Bobvrosky, who kept Columbus in the game despite an apathetic third period in which the Blue Jackets took just five shots.
Sam Gagner put Columbus on the board at 17:50 of the first period, 16 seconds into a Canadiens bench minor for too many men on the ice. It was his 15th goal on the season and sixth on the power play.
The Jackets made it 2-0 with Brandon Saad's 13th goal, 1:22 into the second period.
Up next for Montreal: a visit to Amalie Arena Wednesday to face the Lightning.
GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist, Thomas Greiss made 28 saves and the Islanders beat the Sabres 5-1 to snap a three-game home losing streak. John Tavares had a power-play goal for New York, and Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier and Calvin de Haan also scored. … Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederreiter and Marco Scandella scored in a five-minute span early in the second period, and the visiting Wild beat the Rangers 7-4 for its franchise-record 10th straight win. Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba and Charlie Coyle also scored for the Wild, which chased Henrik Lundqvist with four goals on 13 shots. … Sidney Crosby scored his NHL-leading 24th goal and the Penguins beat the Devils 4-1 to improve to 8-0-1 in their last nine home games. Chad Ruhwedel got the first goal of his career for Pittsburgh. Eric Fehr and Patric Hornqvist also scored for the Penguins, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves to win for the first time in three starts. Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils, who lost for the eighth time in nine games. Cory Schneider stopped 35 shots but received little help in front of him.
AROUND THE LEAGUE: A Red Wings-Hurricanes game that was postponed Monday due to unplayable ice was rescheduled for March 27. That means the teams will play on consecutive nights in Raleigh, N.C. They were already scheduled to meet March 28. … The Blue Jackets signed right wing Vitaly Abramov to a three-year entry level contract. Abramov was the Jackets' third-round selection, 65th overall, in the 2016 draft.