Rafael Harvey-Pinard's second-period hat trick pushed the Canadiens past the Blue Jackets 8-2 at Centre Bell in Montreal on Saturday.
Lane Pederson opened the scoring at 1:32 after Kent Johnson deflected Montreal's clearing attempt enough for it to find Jack Roslovic, who found Johnson in the right slot, where we found Pederson in the left slot with a backhand pass.
#CBJ Pederson (3) goal pic.twitter.com/Rxhtq5GVoU— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 25, 2023
Mike Hoffman tied the game at 3:39 after Mike Matheson's rush to the net took Nick Blankenburg out of the play, leaving Hoffman wide open from the left circle to rip a wrist shot past Elvis Merzlikins after receiving Matheson's drop-pass.
#GoHabsGo Hoffman goal pic.twitter.com/oSeQctnc7v— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 25, 2023
Montreal took its first lead of the night at 9:43 when Jesse Ylonen fired a wrist shot from the left circle through a couple of screens.
#GoHabsGo Ylonen goal pic.twitter.com/nGbsEIF2iS— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 25, 2023
Kirill Marchenko tied the game after finishing his third shot of the shift at 18:00, firing a wrist shot from the right goal line over the left shoulder of Sam Montembeault.
#CBJ Marchenko (19) goal pic.twitter.com/JkHaOUutUG— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 25, 2023
The two teams were tied at two after one period with the Jackets leading 10-8 in shots on goal.
Harvey-Pinard gave Montreal the lead at 0:13 after finishing Matheson's shot in front of the net.
#GoHabsGo Harvey-Pinard goal pic.twitter.com/S3RbzOG00N— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 26, 2023
Harvey-Pinard scored his second of the game at 7:13 with a wrist shot from the left wing, finishing a tic-tac-toe sequence from Montreal.
#GoHabsGo Harvey-Pinard goal pic.twitter.com/LSJmuaHBT2— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 26, 2023
Brendan Gallagher extended the Habs' lead at 13:08 when he was left open in the low slot.
#GoHabsGo Gallagher goal pic.twitter.com/DjrODmH8KJ— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 26, 2023
Harvey-Pinard completed his second-period hat trick on the power play at 16:42 when he deflected Hoffman's slap-pass from the slot.
#GoHabsGo Harvey-Pinard goal pic.twitter.com/s6YItXr29Z— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 26, 2023
After the goal, Merzlikins, who stopped 18 of the 24 shots he faced, left with an injury and was replaced by Michael Hutchinson.
The Canadiens entered the third period up 6-2 with a 25-15 edge in shots on goal.
Alex Belzile made it 7-2 Montreal at 11:48 on a two-on-one rush after Sean Kuraly stepped up to make a hit.
#GoHabsGo Belzile goal pic.twitter.com/GqqfVQ552j— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 26, 2023
Nick Suzuki added to the scoring for Montreal at 13:49 on a shot from the high slot that squeaked through Hutchinson.
#GoHabsGo Suzuki goal pic.twitter.com/jupcmi1QA2— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 26, 2023
With the loss, the Blue Jackets fall to 23-42-7.
- Shots on Goal: CBJ 23-32 MTL
- Faceoff %: CBJ 62.0-38.0 MTL
- Power play: CBJ 0/4-1/3 MTL
- Takeaways: CBJ 3-5 MTL
- Giveaways: CBJ 13-15 MTL
- Blocked shots: CBJ 16-14 MTL
- Hits: CBJ 18-13 MTL
5-on-5 stats (via naturalstattrick.com):
- Expected Goals (xG): CBJ 1.48-2.42 MTL
- Chances (CF): CBJ 32-52 MTL
- Shots (SF): CBJ 15-25 MTL
- Scoring Chances (SCF): CBJ 14-21 MTL
- High-Danger Chances (HDCF): CBJ 5-6 MTL
Erik Gudbranson (upper-body injury) and Mathieu Olivier (lower-body injury) missed tonight's game after leaving Friday night's game.
The Blue Jackets will head to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday to take on the Rangers at 7 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.
The club will head north to TD Garden on Thursday to face the Bruins at 7 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.