Forward lines and defense pairings
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Byron – Kotkaniemi – Armia
Drouin – Domi – Lehkonen
Hudon – Plekanec – Peca
Alzner – Petry
Reilly – Juulsen
Ouellet – Benn
Mete (hand), Scherbak, Shaw (flu)
Weber, Schlemko, De la Rose, Deslauriers
It’s October and once again the Canadiens have a home-friendly schedule. Four of their first six games have been at the Bell Centre. Two more home dates remain this month. And of the five road matches none are more than a short flight from Montreal.
So like almost every other year not named 2017, the Habs are off to a strong start in October. The difference this year, is that all the early success is rather unexpected.
And to Michel Therrien’s horror, the Canadiens are also getting more than their fair share of puck luck.
Tonight’s gift came courtesy of the usually-reliable Colton Parayko. The Blues defenceman was enjoying a good game but with 9.7 seconds remaining in a 2-2 game fanned on a pass in front of his goal. Tomas Tatar pushed the puck ahead to Brendan Gallagher who chipped it past Jake Allen.
The Blues goaltender did not look good on the winning goal. It was the third questionable goal for Allen on the evening. A long wrister from Mike Reilly beat him in the second period. And a routine backhand got by Allen just 39 seconds into the contest.
The gifts just kept on coming!
The Habs had a solid first period using their speed and pinning the Blues. Shots were 10-3 for Montreal. The Blues were the better team for the final 40 minutes outshooting Montreal 22-13. St. Louis was assisted by a steady page of Canadiens to the penalty box.
The Blues scored twice on the power-play. Carey Price was the difference in this game not allowing a 5-on-5 goal.
▲ Carey Price, Tomas Tatar
▼ Charles Hudon