Habs, Blue Jackets meet in Columbus

( - A pair of struggling clubs look to get on track Friday night when the Columbus Blue Jackets play host to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Blue Jackets have lost two straight and seven of their last eight games. Each of their last two setbacks have come in overtime, including last night's 3-2 setback in Boston.

Blake Comeau and Nick Foligno had the goals for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves, but was beaten by Milan Lucic on a breakaway with 48.6 seconds left in the bonus frame. Lucic broke away clean after blocking a shot attempt by the Blue Jackets' Cam Atkinson and slid a shot between Bobrovsky's pads.

"It's still an empty feeling," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards about earning a point. "There were a lot of good things in the third period, but it's still the result. You know, we need to win games and we need two points here, not just one."

It was Columbus' sixth straight loss on the road and it begins a five-game trip on Sunday in Ottawa.

Bobrovsky is 4-2-0 with a 2.68 goals against average in six career meetings with the Canadiens, including a 5-3 loss in Montreal on Oct. 17. He allowed four goals on 35 shots faced.

Backup Curtis McElhinney has never faced the Habs.

Carey Price made 30 saves for Montreal in that home win over Columbus, snapping a two-game series slide. The Habs have lost two straight in Ohio.

Price made 44 saves in Tuesday's 2-1 shootout setback to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but gave up the only goal of the tiebreaker. Danny Briere scored in regulation in his first game after missing 10 straight with a concussion.

"We fought hard out there tonight and we were able to get one there late," said Briere. "Their guy (Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop) played great tonight and is a big reason they won the game, not us."

Montreal has lost five of its past six and is expected to have backup Peter Budaj in net tonight with Price likely to start on Saturday versus the New York Rangers.

Budaj is 2-1-0 with a 1.34 GAA and a shutout in three starts this season. He is 7-5-0 with a 2.20 GAA in 13 previous games against the Blue Jackets, including 12 starts.