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Habs try to secure long-awaited home win over Blues
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens aim for their first home win over the St. Louis Blues in nearly a decade when the teams clash in Tuesday's encounter at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens last earned a win over the Blues in Montreal on Jan. 13, 2004, but St. Louis has recorded three straight victories in "La belle province" since that 5-2 setback. The Blues have claimed the past three meetings in this series overall and also have recorded five victories in their last six stops in Montreal.
Although Montreal is only 4-4-0 as the host this season, the Habs should be glad to be back home after losing both games of a recent two-game road trip in regulation.
The Canadiens were handed a 4-3 defeat Friday at Minnesota and then suffered a 4-1 setback the following night in Colorado. Montreal native Jean-Sebastien Giguere posted 29 saves to lead the way on Saturday for the Avalanche, who gave head coach Patrick Roy an easy victory against his old team.
Peter Budaj surrendered three goals on 30 shots while Brendan Gallagher had the only goal of the game for the Canadiens, who had won two straight before the 0-2 road trip.
"It was a tough night out there for all of us," said Budaj. "The third period was real hard and they just kept coming at us."
No. 1 goaltender Carey Price will get the start for Montreal on Tuesday and is 1-2-1 with a 2.90 goals against average in four career outings against the Blues.
St. Louis counters with Jaroslav Halak in net on Tuesday. A former Canadiens goaltender, Halak is 2-0 with a 0.50 GAA in two career games against his old club. The Czech netminder posted a shutout in his only other trip to Montreal, beating Price and the Canadiens with a 3-0 decision on Jan. 10, 2012.
The Blues, who are closing out a three-game road trip tonight, suffered their first regulation loss as the visiting team this season on Saturday after dropping a 4-2 decision at Tampa Bay. The setback dropped St. Louis to 3-1-1 on the road in 2013-14.
Alex Killorn registered a goal and two assists to lead the Lightning past the Blues on Saturday. Alex Pietrangelo and Jaden Schwartz both scored for St. Louis, which was dealt just its second regulation loss of the season, falling to 8-2-2 on the year. Halak stopped 21 shots in the defeat.
"We have to control the puck a little bit better," said Schwartz. "We turned it over too much and they're a speedy group ... so they're pretty dangerous."
The Blues played both tilts on their recent road trip without Brenden Morrow and the veteran forward is expected to sit out a third straight game on Tuesday. Morrow, who has two goals and one assist this season, is dealing with an upper-body injury.
Following tonight's test, the Blues will head back to the Gateway City for a five-game homestand. The residency is set to begin Thursday versus Calgary.
11/05 10:56:56 ET