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Halak returns to Montreal, shuts out Habs

Jan 11, 2012 - 3:59 AM Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Montreal fans still adore Jaroslav Halak, as evidenced by the standing ovation he received following St. Louis' 3-0 victory on Tuesday night.

Playing at the Bell Centre for the first time since being traded to the Blues, Halak needed to make only 19 saves to post his second shutout of the season. The reason for the warm reception goes back to Halak's heroics in leading the eighth-seeded Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals in 2010.

Halak outperformed Carey Price, the fifth-overall pick in the 2005 draft, but Montreal decided to part ways with the pending restricted free agent, shipping him to St. Louis for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz shortly after the season.

"It's good to see I have so many fans in Montreal, and I appreciate what they did for me in this special game. Right now it's a great feeling," Halak said.

David Backes and Chris Stewart set up each other's goals, while Jason Arnott also tallied in St. Louis' fourth straight win and second in a row by shutout.

Price stopped 22 shots for the Canadiens, who had their win streak snapped at two games. They have dropped eight of 11 overall.

"Our offense wasn't sustained enough," said Montreal interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth. "It was too sporadic against a good team like that. if we were more consistent, we would have had more luck."

The Blues built a 2-0 lead in the second period on goals by Arnott and Backes.

Ryan Reaves shielded the puck as he drove to the net, only to be foiled by Price. Arnott, though, followed up the play and puck the puck home at 9:51. Backes then converted a rebound from the left circle at 14:58.

Stewart made it 3-0 off a feed from Backes at the 12:56 mark of the third period.

Game Notes

Halak has 18 career shutouts and has gone 7-0-3 in his last 10 starts...St. Louis improved to 8-0-1 against the Eastern Conference this season...The Blues have won five of their last six at Montreal...Former St. Louis general manager Ron Caron died Monday night. Caron, who was 82 years old, served as the Blues GM from 1983-94 and again during the 1996-97 season. He was also a scout and an assistant general manager with Montreal, winning six Stanley Cup titles with the Canadiens' organization during the 1970s before taking over in St. Louis.