St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo (27) controls the puck in front of Montreal Canadiens' Lars Eller (81) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 10, 2011 in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Blues' Andy McDonald (10) shoots the puck past Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31)to score during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 10, 2011 in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves against his former Montreal teammates to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Canadiens 4-1 on Thursday night.
Montreal was playing its first game without left winger Max Pacioretty, out indefinitely with a severe concussion and fractured fourth vertebrae as a result of a check Tuesday night at the hands of Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara. Pacioretty was released from the hospital Thursday.
Andy McDonald had a goal and two assists, and Matt D'Agostini added a goal and an assist for St. Louis.
The Blues' faint playoff hopes remained alive with their third win in a row as Halak, a playoff star for Montreal last season, got back at his former team in the process, outdueling Carey Price.
Price stopped 23 shots, but the Canadiens saw their five-game winning streak come to an end. David Backes had a goal and T.J. Oshie added a short-handed empty-netter for the Blues.
Jeff Halpern scored for Montreal.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)