A pair of former Canadiens brought their five game winning streak to a conclusive end in St. Louis Thursday night.  Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 of 28 Canadiens shots and Matt D’Agostini had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win.  The Blues were playing their third game in four nights.  Andy MacDonald had a goal and two assists.  T.J. Oshie scored the other goal shorthanded into an empty net,  With the loss the Canadiens lost a point in the Northeast division race to the Boston Bruins were defeated at home in a shootout by Buffalo. 

Summing It Up –

…..It was clear very early in the game that the Blues were more excited about the Halak/Price matchup than the Canadiens were.  The Canadiens hung Carey out to dry with a sloppy inattentive performance.

……There can be no excuses for this one.  The Canadiens were well rested while the Blues were playing their second game in twenty-four hours and third game in four nights.  Despite that, they dominated the Canadiens. 

…It became very clear as the night progressed that Benoit Pouliot still hasn’t grasped what it takes to be a top six forward.  He failed to win a faceoff in his own zone that led to the Blues first goal.  His giveaway led to the game winning goal early in the second period and later in the period he took a terrible holding penalty in the offensive zone.  That penalty, at 12:53 was his swan song.  He got one more shift the rest of the game.

….Andrei Kostitsyn started the game on the line with Eller and Moen.  The final 28 minutes of the game he played with Eller and doubled as Pouliot’s replacement with Gomez and Gionta.  Nevertheless, his scoring streak ended at seven games.

……Terrible night for P.K. Subban who tried to do too much on his own and eventually paid for it on the Blues third goal when he flat-out handed the puck to Andy MacDonald inside his own end. 

 ….It wasn’t all bad.  Lars Eller was very much in evidence again. So were his linemates Kostitsyn and Jeff Halpern, who accounted for the only goa.

……We don’t expect a lot from Paul Mara, but he was very much involved in this game.  He had a fight…blocked a couple of shots and was an absentee when it came to major mistakes on defense.

……You couldn’t ask for more from Price.  After the Canadiens had their 2-0 lead, Scott Gomez wouldn’t get his stick down for a faceoff and was kicked out in favour of Pouliot who was cleanly beaten by McDonald.  Backes shot was a screen.  The second goal came off the Pouliot giveaway.  The third goal off Subban’s blunder.   The fourth goal was shorthanded into an empty net. 

……In the end, most of the things that led to a five game winning streak, effort, cohesive play, good decision making, were missing.  Blame it on the circus surrounding Zdeno Chara.  Maybe they were simply due for a stinker.  They have a day to regroup and then it”s the Penguins Saturday afternoon.

The Goalscorers – St. Louis – Backes (24th) (McDonald); McDonald (17th) (D’Agostini); D’Agostini (14th) (McDonald); Oshie (8th) EN/SHG (Berglund).   Canadiens – Halpern (11th) (Picard-Mara).

Shots on Goal –  Canadiens – 12-6-10 = 28   St. Louis – 13-8-6 = 27

The Three Stars – First – Jaroslav Halak (stopped 27 of 28 shots)   Second – Andy McDonald (1 goals, 2assists-plus 3).  Third – Matt D’Agostini (1 goal 1assist, plus-3)

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Game Number Team Player Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
21011 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 2 11 9 6 3 3 3 3 3
21011 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 1 0 7 7 3 4 0 4 2 2
21011 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 1 1 5 6 4 4 -1 4 3 0
21011 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 1 1 6 6 3 4 -1 4 3 0
21011 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 0 2 11 11 4 4 -2 7 1 4
21011 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 2 10 10 5 3 0 3 3 0
21011 MTL 22 – D – MARA, PAUL 1 1 8 2 5 4 7 7 3 11
21011 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 1 3 23 18 14 12 5 15 8 12
21011 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 4 2 4 5 1 4 1 4
21011 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0 1 9 8 5 3 2 6 1 7
21011 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 1 1 8 3 6 4 7 6 4 9
21011 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 1 5 3 4 5 0 4 3 1
21011 MTL 53 – C – WHITE, RYAN 0 0 5 0 1 0 6 4 1 9
21011 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 0 2 5 7 2 2 -4 3 2 -3
21011 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 0 4 0 1 1 4 4 1 7
21011 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 0 6 6 3 6 -3 3 4 -4
21011 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 1 4 6 5 3 -1 1 3 -3
21011 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 0 4 3 3 4 0 4 1 3
21011 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 0 3 1 4 1 5 4 1 8