MONTREAL - Tomas Plekanec scored the winning goal with 1:07 to play in regulation on a quick shot from the high slot as the Montreal Canadiens blew a 3-0 lead Thursday night but bounced back to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 to run their winning streak to four games.
Plekanec added an empty-net goal with 15.6 seconds left while the Canadiens were shorthanded to ice the victory for Montreal.
Andrei Markov had a goal and an assist and his defense partner P.K. Subban had two assists to run his point streak to six games for the Canadiens (5-2-0), who established a season high with their five goals scored.
It was a night of firsts for rookies from each team. Canadiens rookie Michael Bournival scored his first career NHL goal and Blue Jackets rookie Boone Jenner one-upped him by scoring the first two goals of his career, including the game-tying goal early in the third period to make it 3-3.
While both of Jenner's goals were on the power play, Ryan Johansen scored one at even strength for Columbus (2-4-0) to snap a two-game streak without a 5-on-5 goal for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight games in regulation.
Both teams were missing a key forward, with the Canadiens' Max Pacioretty and the Blue Jackets' Marian Gaborik not dressed for the game. Pacioretty has a lower-body injury he sustained Tuesday in Winnipeg, and Gaborik was a last-minute scratch with an illness.
That didn't stop both teams from generating long stretches of offensive pressure, however, as both goaltenders were busy and played well despite the high number of goals.
Montreal's Carey Price had allowed one goal in his previous two starts and finished with 30 saves on the night. He has stopped 105 of the last 109 shots he has faced.
Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky allowed more than two goals for the first time since opening night. He had 31 saves.
The Canadiens jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in a wide-open first period in which the two teams combined for 25 shots on goal, with 14 coming from Montreal.
With Johansen in the box, Blue Jackets defensemen Nikita Nikitin and David Savard completely forgot about Rene Bourque standing by himself on their blue line. Subban found him with a pass from the Canadiens' zone to send Bourque in alone for a breakaway power-play goal on Bobrovsky at 4:38.
Bournival made it 2-0 on another superb play by Subban, who deked around a Blue Jackets forward at the offensive blue line before feeding it to Markov, who found Bournival with a pass through the slot for a one-timer that beat Bobrovsky between the legs at 12:01 to make it 2-0.
Markov increased Montreal's lead to 3-0 on a shorthanded goal off a Jack Johnson turnover in the Columbus end, his shot from the blue line bouncing once before fooling Bobrovsky at 6:52 of the second.
The Columbus comeback began less than a minute later.
Jenner scored his first of the game at 7:41 of the second on the same power play, pouncing on a rebound of a Johansen shot to slide it past Price and make it 3-1.
Johansen cut the lead to 3-2 at 17:11 of the second when he chipped the puck past Lars Eller at the Columbus blue line to create a 2-on-1 opportunity. Johansen opted to keep it, then beat Price with a perfect shot to the far corner for his first goal of the season.
Jenner tied it up 3-3 at 4:35 of the third with another power-play goal on another rebound, this time putting a backhander upstairs over Price's glove with captain Brian Gionta in the box for a retaliatory high-sticking penalty.