MONTREAL (AP) — Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored three goals for his first career hat trick and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-2 Saturday night.
Nick Suzuki had a goal and three assists, Mike Hoffman had a goal and two assists, Brendan Gallagher and Jesse Ylonen each added a goal and an assist, and Alex Belzile also scored for Montreal. Mike Matheson had three assists and Johnathan Kovacevic had two.
Sam Montembault stopped 21 shots to help Montreal win for the third time in 13 games (3-8-2).
Lane Pederson and Kirill Marchenko scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a two-game win streak and lost for the fourth time in six games. Elvis Merzlikins was pulled late in the second period after giving up six goals on 24 shots. Michael Hutchinson came on and finished with seven saves.
Harvey-Pinard scored 13 seconds into the second period as he knocked in a loose puck after Merzlikins stopped Matheson’s driving backhander to put Montreal up 3-2.
Harvey-Pinard then got his second of the night seven minutes later as he beat Merzlikins from the left circle.
Gallagher scored in front off a pass from Jake Evans to push the lead to 5-2 with 6:52 remaining in the second period.
Harvey-Pinard then completed his hat trick as he redirected a feed from Hoffman on a power play with 3:18 left in the middle period to make it 6-2. It was his 12th of the season.
Belzile and Suzuki scored less than two minutes apart to give the Canadiens a six-goal lead with 6:11 remaining in the third.
Pederson got Columbus on the scoreboard first, quickly redirecting a pass from Kent Johnson in the left circle 1:32 into the game. It was his third.
Hoffman tied it a little more than two minutes later with his 13th and Ylonen gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead near the midpoint of the opening period.
Marchenko tied it for Columbus with two minutes left in the first as he scored high from a sharp angle from the right side for his 19th.
Blue Jackets: At New York Rangers on Tuesday night in the second of a three-game trip.
Canadiens: At Buffalo on Monday night to open a two-game trip.