Montreal Canadiens at St. Louis Blues
When and Where: Thursday, Jan. 10, Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo., 8 p.m. EST.
A pair of teams trending in opposite directions meet in St. Louis, where the Blues try to shake off their home woes against a Montreal Canadiens team currently playing its best road hockey this season.
Canadiens look to continue strong road play
Montreal (23-16-5) has a chance to sweep its two-game road swing after recording a 3-2 win at Detroit on Tuesday night, its fifth victory in six road games.
Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia scored 66 seconds apart in the second period, and Jeff Petry’s goal in the third proved to be the decisive one. Tomas Tatar had a pair of assists and Antti Niemi turned aside 30 shots.
“That’s cool. Jeff’s been a great player for us all year. When we’ve really needed to rely on him, he’s been there and he stepped up and logged some heavy minutes for us,” Gallagher told the Habs’ official website about Petry, whose father was a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. “We’re pretty fortunate to be able to play with him every game. For him to come in here and score in front of his dad, I’m sure it was pretty special.”
Max Domi also had an assist for his team-leading 39th point, but he did go without a goal for his 14th consecutive game. Petry, a defenseman, reached the 30-point mark for the second straight season with his second goal in five games.
Habs coach Claude Julien has yet to say whether Niemi will get a second straight start or turn to Carey Price, who made 23 saves in a 3-2 win over St. Louis on Oct. 17 when Gallagher scored the winning goal with 11 seconds to play.
Price is 5-5-2 with a 2.47 goals-against average against the Blues while Niemi is 10-10-4 with a 2.96 GAA. Niemi, though, is 0-1-2 in his last three matchups versus St. Louis and 0-3-2 in his last five at the Scottrade Center.
Blues still unable to string together wins
St. Louis (17-20-4) has alternated losses and wins in its last five games after a 3-1 defeat to Dallas on Tuesday night.
David Perron‘s goal accounted for the Blues’ offense as St. Louis was unable to generate much despite outshooting Dallas 22-11 in the final two periods. St. Louis has lost four of its last five home games, and after going 0 for 2 on the power play, dropped to 1 for 30 with the man advantage in its last 11 games at the Scottrade Center.
“Those two power plays, I thought we had good puck possession, good movement,” coach Craig Berube told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think we need to pass the puck better on the power play there and the shots we took missed the net or got blocked.”
Perron, who is second on the Blues with 15 goals and 30 points, has four goals and seven assists during his eight-game run. He has recorded 17 of his points at home with eight goals and nine assists.
The Blues have yet to name a starting goaltender, but it is thought Jake Allen would be back between the pipes after making 14 saves versus Dallas. He is 1-4-0 with a 3.46 GAA in his last five starts with an .844 save percentage.
Allen had a personal three-game winning streak against Montreal snapped in the October loss and dropped to 3-4-0 lifetime versus the Habs.
The Blues are:
- 1-4 in their last five home games.
- 0-8 in the last eight of a third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- The under is 13-3 in their last 16 games vs. Atlantic Division opponents.
- The under is 12-4 in their last 16 games after scoring two or fewer goals in their previous game.
The Canadiens are:
- 5-0 in their last five in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- 5-1 in their last six road games.
- 5-1 in their last six games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- The under is 5-0 in their last five games.
- The under is 4-0 in their last four games vs. Central Division opponents.
- The under is 4-1 in their last five games vs.