(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues were both on
hot streaks before losing their last game. The clubs will try to get back on
track when they face each other Thursday at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
The Canadiens had won six straight before running into the Pittsburgh Penguins
on Tuesday. The Penguins recorded a 4-0 road win behind a 27-save performance
from Marc-Andre Fleury, as Montreal was shut out of the third time this
Carey Price made just 18 saves in defeat for the Canadiens, who had the
league’s longest active winning streak before getting slammed by the Pens.
Pittsburgh grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period and added two more goals in
the second. Sidney Crosby ended the scoring with 31 seconds remaining in the
Montreal then outshot the Pens 14-2 in the third period, but couldn’t find a
way to get one past Fleury.
“We lost momentum right from the start. They capitalized on our defensive faux
pas for their first goal and bad coverage for the second,” noted Canadiens
head coach Michel Therrien. “This game put a lot into perspective — we still
have a lot of work to do.”
Despite the loss, Montreal remained one point ahead of Tampa Bay for first
place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning, who play tonight in Toronto,
also suffered a regulation loss Tuesday against the New York Islanders.
Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver missed Tuesday’s tilt with an upper-body
injury and is questionable for tonight.
The Blues, meanwhile, hope to rebound after dropping a 2-0 decision Tuesday in
Boston. The setback came at the start of a four-game road trip and it halted a
pair of three-game winning streaks for St. Louis, which had won three straight
overall and on the road.
Tuesday’s defeat also dropped St. Louis to 10-2-0 over its last 12 games.
Tuukka Rask made 33 saves to shut out the Blues. It was the third time St.
Louis was blanked in 2014-15.
Brian Elliott stopped 15-of-17 shots for the Blues, who had scored 14 goals
while winning their previous three games.
“They kept us on the perimeter all night. I know we had a lot of shots on
goal, but we weren’t really a threat,” said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock.
St. Louis, which will also visit Ottawa and Winnipeg before completing this
swing, is 4-2-1 as the guest this season.
Jake Allen will get the start in net for the Blues tonight in his first career
outing against the Canadiens. Price is 1-3-2 with a 3.06 goals against average
in six career tilts versus St. Louis.
St. Louis has won five straight, six of seven and 10 of the last 13 meetings
in this series. The Canadiens have lost the last four encounters on home ice,
but are 0-1-3 in those tilts.