Well the Blues used a little luck, some outstanding goaltending and a player finally fulfilling his potential to extend their winning streak to 4 games.
The luck started early as Montreal named Al Montoya as the starter assuring the Blues won't face Carey Price until the Stanley Cup Finals. More luck almost followed as Max Pacioretty was labeled a game time decision with the flu but unfortunately he was able to participate in the game.
The Blues got off to another solid start, which has been a theme on this road trip, and for the fourth straight game got on the board first. A quick, pressuring forecheck forced a turnover behind the Montreal net and Jaden Schwartz swept a pass right to Alex Pietrangelo at the point. Petro cruised in and as Montoya was falling down wristed a shot that Patrik Berglund tipped in for the lead.
That goal was Berglund’s 14th goal since December 15th and oh boy was he not done for the night. But we will get to that later on. The Blues had a chance to really put the Canadiens on their heels when they earned a power play 5 minutes later. Then a damn ref got in the way of Vladi and it seemed to change the whole complexion of the period.
The failed power play turned into the Blues playing a bit timid and getting caught in their zone, unable to clear the luck. With Montreal being a fast, opportunistic team of course they took advantage. Pacioretty dug the puck out from under David Perron on the half boards and found the Human Canon Shea Weber at the point and Weber unleashed a blast.
Fortunately for the Blues that was the only damage inflicted by Montreal in the period as St. Louis was able to block 9 shots and whatever got through Jake Allen vacuumed up.
At the start of the second Montreal seemed to have seized control of the momentum and pinned the Blues in their zone just as they had in the second half of the first. Joel Edmundson tried to shake it up by dropping the gloves with Michael McCarron. And 90 seconds later it bore fruit. Kevin Shattenkirk held in the puck in the offensibe zone and slipped the puck to Jori Lehtera as he entered the zone. Lehtera cut to the middle of the zone and dropped a backhand pass to David Perron who kicked the puck to his stick and fired low shot past Montoya.
But Montreal doesn't lead the Atlantic for no reason and they showed that by pushing right back for the tying goal. Once again the Blues were unable to clear the puck from the zone and the Canadiens whipped the puck from point to point before Nathan Beaulieu threw the puck to the net. And guess who was in front of the net to redirect the puck in? Yep, Max Pacioretty.
As the period wound down it looked like we would head to the third tied once again. Patrick Berglund would have other things to say about that. With under a minute to play Alex Pietrangelo brought the puck around the net and fed Jay Bouwmeester at the point. As the clock ticked under 30 seconds Bouwmeester put a shot on net that Berglund was able to get a stick on and redirected it between his legs and into the net.
Despite being outplayed in the period the Blues held a one goal lead heading into the third.
Montreal continued to push early and often in the third period but Jake Allen came up with a huge save on Pacioretty at the five minute mark and Jori Lehtera put his life on the line twice to block Shea Weber shots on a penalty kill. The Blues inability to clear their zone most of the night gave the Canadiens many chances to tie the game but it was to no avail.
With Montoya pulled and time winding down, Berglund was able to complete his first career hat trick in the oddest way I have ever seen. (Post goal highlight)
The Blues will look to complete a five game winning road trip on Wednesday when they face Detroit. A win would miraculously get them to .500 on the road which is something a lot of us would have been surprised at earlier this season.