for this game

Halak gets last laugh as Blues top Canadiens

Mar 11, 2011 - 5:10 AM
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Jaroslav Halak was nearly flawless in his first game against his former team, making 27 saves as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1.

Halak, who was an integral part of the Canadiens' run to the Eastern Conference finals last spring, was dealt to St. Louis in June for two players. He stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period to preserve the win.

"When you get traded, you want to beat them every time you play," Halak said of matching up with his former team. "We play Montreal only once this year so this was my only chance. I had to make sure I gave it my best."

Andy McDonald, Matt D'Agostini and David Backes each scored for the Blues, who have won three straight. McDonald also had two assists.

Jeff Halpern notched the lone goal for the emotionally drained Canadiens, who returned the ice for the first time since a brutal hit by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on forward Max Pacioretty sent him to hospital with a severe concussion and vertebra fracture in his neck on Tuesday.

Carey Price, who the Canadiens kept in favor of Halak, yielded three goals on 26 shots in the loss, which was Montreal's first in six games.

"The important thing is we regroup and go out there again," Montreal forward Brian Gionta said. "We have to provide a little more spark than that."

Halpern's tip-in goal with 7:30 left in the first period gave the Habs a 1-0 lead, but was the only time the Canadiens scored.

The Blues tied it with 61 seconds left in the period when McDonald dropped the winning draw to Backes, whose quick snap shot from the top of the right circle found the back of the net.

McDonald's wrist shot off a Montreal turnover put the Blues up 2-1 just over a minute into the second.

D'Agostini's impressive hand-eye coordination gave the Blues an insurance goal with 1:29 left in regulation. He was able to bat down a fluttering centering pass from McDonald, and it went past Price's glove hand.

T.J. Oshie finished the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute.

Game Notes

The Blues announced Thursday that both forward Alex Steen and defenseman Barret Jackman will miss 4-to-6 weeks. Steen has been sidelined with a high right ankle sprain, while Jackman was felled by an injury to his right index finger that required surgery...The Blues are 20-11-4 as the host this season, while Montreal is 16-16-1 as the visiting club...Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.