Game preview: Blues @ Canadiens
CANADIENS (8-7-0) vs. BLUES (8-2-2)
Back at the Bell Centre after a two-game roadtrip, the Canadiens will look to regain momentum against a St. Louis Blues team that has won three of its last four games on Tuesday night.
Having dropped a 4-1 decision to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, the Habs made some adjustments to their roster, sending down Mike Blunden and calling up Hamilton Bulldogs captain Martin St-Pierre, who will take part in Tuesday night's tilt alongside Ryan White and George Parros. St-Pierre will see NHL action for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign. David Desharnais, however, will be a healthy scratch.
Typical of a Ken Hitchcock-coached team, the Blues are responsible defensively, allowing the fourth-fewest goals against in the league through 12 games. However, the Blues have also counted on the opportunistic shooting of their key forwards. Left winger Alex Steen has 12 goals in as many games, good for first overall across the league. The Winnipeg, MB native is certainly having a career year. He has never scored more than 24 goals in a single season in eight years in the league. Providing additional offensive punch are gritty winger David Backes and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
A familiar face will be in goal for the visiting team. Former Hab Jaroslav Halak has all but taken over the top goaltending spot in the Gateway City. While the Slovakian had been splitting time with Brian Elliot last season, he has taken over as the go-to guy for the Blues in 2013-14. Halak is 7-2-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage thus far this year.
As for the home team, Carey Price is set to be in nets for the 13th time this season. During the pre-game ceremony, the goaltender will be honored as the team’s Molson Cup recipient for the month of October. The Anahim Lake, BC native has been on his game and given his team a chance to win every time out this season, compiling a solid 2.18 goals-against average and stopping 93.2% of the shots he's faced.
Playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in a week, the Canadiens will be taking on a stern challenge and hoping to be able to push their record further north of .500.