The Montreal Canadiens returned home from a disappointing three-game road swing to defeat the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens lost to the Nashville Predators, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers on their road trip and were outscored 12-4 in the process.
That, combined with a home defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs, had Montreal in a small freefall, similar to their late November swoon when the Canadiens lost five straight.
This time the losing streak was halted at four games as Max Domi, Paul Byron and Tomas Tatar all got on the scoreboard for the hosts.
Carey Price turned away 31 of the 33 shots that he faced in the Montreal net, as the Canadiens took their second of the season against the Blue Jackets, with one game remaining in the regular series.
Thursday, Montreal will entertain the Philadelphia Flyers before playing seven of the next eight away from home ice.
The Canadiens play the Maple Leafs, the New Jersey Devils, the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Rangers, make a brief return to host the Pittsburgh Penguins and then head out to California for games against the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks.
It's not a make or break series of games for Montreal, but with the Lighting, the Boston Bruins and the Maple Leafs pulling away in the Atlantic Division, the Canadiens will be keeping a watchful eye on the Wild Card contenders in the Metropolitan Division.
Hence the victory over the Blue Jackets was doubly useful.
Montreal are 20/1 to win the Eastern Conference, with the Maple Leafs 15/2 and the Bruins 11/2.
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