It's unclear who won the Halak/Eller trade between the Canadiens and the Blues, but tonight Jaroslav Halak got the best of his former team against Carey Price, winning 3-0. Halak himself stopped all 19 shots in the match, with much help from his defensive squad.
When you play St. Louis now, you'll probably need that first goal of the game to get ahead -- the Canadiens were unable to establish the tone -- therefore, the Habs lost the game to the Blues, 3-0. In Jaroslav Halak's first return to Montreal, he stopped all of Montreal's 19 shots with his stellar defense.
The Canadiens have struggled to score goals and that makes it much more difficult to score when you face the team that has allowed the fewest goals in the Western Conference in the St. Louis Blues, especially with Halak's chip on his shoulder -- which was the story of this game.
The Blues established the tone in Montreal physically, which, despite Randy Cunneyworth's emphasis on this aspect, stopped Montreal's push. Once the Habs were unable to take control of the game early on, Jason Arnott took the first strike in the second period to began the offensive output for the Blues. After Arnott's goal, two more goals from David Backes and Chris Stewart gave St. Louis the dagger for the victory. It also didn't help that Montreal gave up 21 giveaways, which the Blues took advantage of, especially on Stewart's goal:
St. Louis has bounced ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks in the division, taking second place in the Western Conference. They'll have a more formidable opponent in the Vancouver Canucks, who defeated the Boston Bruins Saturday and defeated the Lightning Tuesday. The Bruins also just happen to be the Habs' next opponent.