Preview: Canadiens at Blues
The Montreal Canadiens have been treading water at the Bell Centre throughout the season, but they have managed to stay in contention for a playoff slot in the Eastern Conference due to their success away from home. Montreal looks to fatten its 12-7-3 road record on Thursday night when it visits the St. Louis Blues, one of the league's worst home teams.
The Canadiens have struggled in St. Louis, losing five of the last six meetings there, but they snapped a five-game losing streak to the Blues with a 3-2 home win on Oct. 17. Montreal won for the seventh time in its last 10 on the road with a 3-2 victory at Detroit on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Blues were not able to carry their momentum over from a 3-0 win at Philadelphia on Monday, dropping a 3-1 decision to Dallas the following night to fall to 10-13-2 at home. "We've got to be better at home. That's the biggest thing for me," coach Craig Berube said after St. Louis was held to one goal for the third time in its last five at Enterprise Center.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, RDS, TSN2 (Montreal), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (23-16-5): Montreal's No. 1 line is in a slump with Max Domi mired in a 14-game goal drought and Jonathan Drouin scoring three times in the last 16 games, which could lead to some changes in the near future. “We feel that duo has done well, but lately they haven’t been doing as well and I have to consider if doesn’t get better down the road we’re going to separate them,” coach Claude Julien said after Wednesday's practice. “That’s not out of the question." Julien also had the team working on the power play, which has failed on its last 11 chances and is converting a league-worst 12.6 percent.
ABOUT THE BLUES (17-20-4): Alexander Steen was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and is out at least two weeks while fellow forward Tyler Bozak is expected to miss his third straight game while dealing with the flu. Although the offense has has been in a rut, forward David Perron has scored in back-to-back contests to give him four goals and seven assists during a career-high eight-game point streak. Star forward Vladimir Tarasenko has not scored a goal on home ice since Nov. 24 and has labored against Montreal in his career, notching one goal in 10 games -- tied for his fewest against any opponent.
1. Canadiens G Carey Price is 8-3-2 with a 2.41 goals-against average on the road entering Thursday's start.
2. Blues D Vincent Dunn was being evaluated for a lower-body injury that caused him to miss Tuesday's game.
3. Canadiens F Brendan Gallagher scored the winning goal in October -- his fourth in 10 games versus St. Louis.
PREDICTION: Canadiens 3, Blues 1