Montreal Canadiens\' Jaroslav Halak, right, makes a save against Columbus Blue Jackets\' Alexander Svitov. (AP/Jay LaPrete)
Francis Bouillon also scored for Montreal, which moved into a tie with Toronto for the eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens entered the having dropped from fourth place to ninth in the standings with an 8-17-1 record since Dec. 23.
Rookie Jaroslav Halak was vying to become the fourth Montreal goalie to register a shutout in his first NHL start until Columbus scored twice in a 3:03 span late in the third period on goals by Nikolai Zherdev and Gilbert Brule.
The Blue Jackets have lost six of their last eight games.