Montreal (8-1-1) at Columbus (5-6-2), 7:00 pm EDT
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) — The Montreal Canadiens are off to
their best start in more than 30 years, and a major reason is
their prowess on the road.
Alexei Kovalev and the torrid Canadiens look to win their fifth
straight road game for the first time in 11 years when they
visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
Montreal hasn’t won five consecutive road games since it
accomplished the feat from December 31, 1997 to January 12,
1998. The Canadiens are also off to their best start since
opening 9-2-0 in 1976-77, thanks in part to their current
three-game winning streak.
Kovalev sparked the Canadiens’ latest success, a 5-4 victory
over the New York Islanders on Saturday. His second goal of the
game completed a four-goal rally in the third period as the
Canadiens took the second game of their four-game road trip and
improved to 4-0-1 away from home.
Montreal has avoided a regulation defeat through its first five
road games for the first time since starting 6-0-2 in 2005-06.
The Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres are the only remaining teams
without a regulation loss on the road.
The Blue Jackets bounced back from losing five of six – all
decided by two goals or less – to defeat the Edmonton Oilers,
5-4, on Wednesday.
They have received a boost from center Derick Brassard, who
leads all rookies with 12 points. Meanwhile, Jakub Voracek –
the seventh overall selection in last summer’s draft – is tied
for second among first-year players with 10 points.