|Blue Jackets aim to extend streak vs. Red Wings|
For the first time this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets felt comfortable in the waning minutes of the third period.
Their 5-2 triumph over Montreal on Tuesday was the first time the Blue Jackets' margin of victory was greater than one goal.
The Blue Jackets, who won their previous game in overtime, will try to extend their winning streak to three games when they welcome the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Columbus' five-goal output represented a relative outburst, establishing a new season high in 20 games. The Blue Jackets have scored 50 goals, tied for last in the NHL. Their 2.5 average ranks higher than just one team -- the Red Wings, who have scored at a 2.35 clip.
The Blue Jackets scored three goals in the third period against the Canadiens.
"I thought we played better offensively," coach John Tortorella said. "That's really good news."
Some good fortune energized the team's moribund offense. It scored the go-ahead goal when Emil Bemstrom's backhander went wide, caromed off the glass behind the net and back toward the crease. The puck then went off the goaltender's blocker and into the net.
"I thought in the first period, we made a lot of offensive plays. I thought our second period was ridiculous, and then I thought we played a good third period," Tortorella said. "We're not used to playing with a three-goal lead with three or four minutes left. We got a fortunate bounce. That's part of it. A lot of teams get it and find a way to win. We did (Tuesday) playing a 40-minute hockey game."
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice, increasing his team-leading total to nine goals.
"We kept pushing," Dubois told NHL.com. "The best defense is offense and I thought we did a good job of that."
Thursday's game will be the first of three meetings between the teams. In their three meetings last season, the road team prevailed each time. The Blue Jackets won twice in Detroit, including an overtime decision, and the Red Wings secured a two-goal victory in Columbus.
The Wings are coming off a 4-3 home loss to Ottawa. Detroit gave up three second-period goals to fall behind 4-2 and couldn't catch up despite a 16-3 shots on goal advantage in the final period.
"We didn't capitalize on our chances and we didn't manage the puck well through the neutral zone," first line center Dylan Larkin told NHL.com. "They got a couple of guys over there that can skate, and we made it too easy for those guys to feel like they could skate all night and make them look like players that they regularly aren't, like world beaters. That's the frustrating part."
Valtteri Filppula scored the team's first short-handed goal of the season but Ottawa's second period surge handed the Wings their first regulation loss in six games. They lost their previous two games in overtime.
"I think we've been playing pretty well as of late but that second period wasn't good enough," Filppula told NHL.com. "I don't think fatigue was necessarily a factor. But we turned a lot of pucks over in the neutral zone and spent a lot of time in our zone."
Injuries continue to pile up for the Wings. Forward Darren Helm and defenseman Mike Green didn't finish the game. Defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Trevor Daley remain sidelined.
--Field Level Media