Halak has happy return to Montreal as Blues top Canadiens

From staff and wire reportsNovember 6, 2013 

T.J. Oshie and the St. Louis Blues found a way to beat the Montreal Canadiens -- again.

Oshie beat Carey Price in the shootout and the Blues won 3-2 on Tuesday night for their fourth consecutive victory against the Canadiens.

"(Price) is a great goaltender," Oshie said. "He's proven that. We were just trying to get shots through any way that we could. And when they did get through, it seemed as though he was a wall back there.

"He was good in the shootout as well. I think I got a little lucky. I just tried to flip it upstairs."

Alexander Steen and Chris Stewart scored in regulation for the Blues, with Steen also pushing his scoring streak to a career-high eight games.

Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak had 25 saves against his former team. Halak also turned away three shots in the shootout.

Rene Bourque and Michael Bournival scored for Montreal (8-7-1), which blocked an NHL-record 38 shots. Price made 30 saves.

The Canadiens had no shots in overtime.

"We didn't have a good first pass coming out of our own end," captain Brian Gionta said. "The crowd got frustrated a little bit there.

"We didn't get anything going."

Tomas Plekanec had a chance to win it in regulation for Montreal. He was awarded a penalty shot in the final minute after the Blues were called for delay of game for knocking the net off its moorings, but Halak appeared to get a piece of the shot.

"Half an inch on either side, and it's a goal," Plekanec said. "It's hard to say I would do anything different on that one."

It was the first time the Blues were facing a penalty shot against montreal since former Blues goalie Mike Liut turned away Montreal's Steve Shutt on Dec. 17, 1983.

The Blues opened the scoring at 2:38 of the first period when Steen collected his NHL-best 13th goal of the season.

Blues captain David Backes got it started by stealing the puck from defender Douglas Murray, who was playing softly behind his own net. Backes pushed Murray down and passed the puck to a wide-open Steen, who beat Price over his left shoulder.

Backes dished out a season-high nine hits, the most by a Blues player since Ryan Reaves had 10 on March 19, 2011 vs. San Jose,

Montreal tied it at 5:38 of the second period. Andrei Markov drove hard to the net, colliding with Halak in the process. With Halak still shaken up, the puck fell to Bourque in the crease, and he converted from in close.

Bournival put the Canadiens in front at 14:49 with his fourth of the year. He intercepted a poor pass from Jay Bouwmeester in the Blues' zone and quickly fired a slap shot between Halak's legs.

Stewart tied it again at 10:31 of the third period when he deflected a Kevin Shattenkirk blue-line shot off the post and past Price. It was Stewart's second goal in the last three games.

"Stewart was one of our best forwards," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. "He was competitive, hard on the puck, dangerous offensively. It didn't matter where we played him. If this is the level he's going to play with, it's a good level."

Halak returned to Montreal for the second time since being traded to the Blues in 2010. He earned a shutout in his other trip to Montreal in January 2012, winning 3-0.

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