Pacioretty scores 2 goals in 1st period, lifts Canadiens over Blue Jackets 3-1

Max Pacioretty scored twice in the first period, and the Montreal Canadiens held off the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night to snap a two-game skid.

Tomas Plekanec added an empty-net goal for the Canadiens, and Carey Price stopped 32 shots for his 33rd win of the season.

Nick Foligno scored for the Blue Jackets, who got a 21-save performance from Curtis McElhinney.

Montreal, which avoided its first three-game losing streak since early December, is 32-3-1 when its opponents score two goals or fewer.