Kuraly scores 2 in 3rd period, helps Columbus past Montreal

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sean Kuraly scored twice in the third period and the Columbus Blue Jackets won their third straight home game, beating the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 on Thursday night.

Boone Jenner and Mathieu Olivier also scored in the third, and Kuraly added an assist. Cole Sillinger and Gus Nyquist added goals for Columbus, which has picked up seven points in its last four games. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 38 shots and won for the third time in four games.

Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Harris, Josh Anderson and Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal, which lost its second straight. Sam Montembeault stopped 23 shots.

Columbus jumped to an early lead on Sillinger’s shot from the left circle that careened off a Canadiens player and into the Montreal net at 7:28 of the first.

Nyquist made it 2-0, scoring on a shot off a pass from Gavin Bayreuther, beating Montembeault at 16:19.

Harris pulled Montreal within one at 13:35 of the second after multiple turnovers kept the puck in the Columbus zone. Montreal pulled even with Anderson’s power-play goal with 2.1 seconds left in the second period and 12 seconds left in Columbus’ third penalty in just under four minutes.

It was the second straight game in which Columbus gave up a two-goal lead.

Jenner started the third-period scoring, giving Columbus the lead at 6:36 off tic-tac-toe passing from Kent Johnson and Johnny Gaudreau. But, Gallagher’s back door shot on Korpisalo at 9:27 made it 3-all.

That lead lasted 42 seconds before Kuraly split defenders and tapped the puck past Montembeault. Olivier made it 5-3 with a one timer off a faceoff at 11:09.

Just eight seconds later, Suzuki had Montreal back within a goal. But Kuraly sealed the win with an empty-netter at 17:47.

UP NEXT

Montreal: Hosts Philadelphia on Saturday night.

Columbus: Hosts Detroit on Saturday night.

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Nicole Kraft, The Associated Press