Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

St. Louis leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, March 18th
Blues4Final
SO
Canadiens3

Blues 4

(30-32-11, 71 pts)

Canadiens 3

(40-24-10, 90 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 18, 2008

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
STL 1 2 0 14
MTL 1 1 1 03

A. McDonald (Blues - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

S. Kostitsyn (Canadiens - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

E. Brewer (Blues - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Boyes' shootout goal puts end to Blues' 10-game road skid

MONTREAL (AP) -- Brad Boyes and Manny Legace did their part to ensure that the St. Louis Blues avoided setting a record for the longest road losing streak in the franchise's 41-year history.

Boyes scored his 38th goal of the season and was the only player to score in the shootout and St. Louis ended a 10-game road losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Legace stopped Saku Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Kovalev in the shootout as the Blues got their first road win in more than a month.

"It's been painful and everything that could happen, happens," Legace said. "Guys shooting the puck 10 feet wide, it hits somebody and goes in the net. It was just a great effort, though, tonight. It was a great win for us and the mood in there is beautiful."

Boyes, who scored in the second period, put a backhand past Jaroslav Halak on St. Louis' second attempt.

"I was coming down and it started rolling on me a little bit so I was just kind of nervous about settling it down," Boyes said. "I wanted to do that and stick with it and just get it up over his pad and I got lucky and it hit off the post. I don't know if it hit him or if it went in straight but I saw the red light and I was happy about that."

Halak, who has yet to lose in regulation in nine career starts at the Bell Centre, had the opposite reaction.

"I think it hit the post and then hit my stick and went in and that's why I was a little bit mad," Halak said.

Keith Tkachuk scored on a two-man advantage in the first period for St. Louis, which got its first win seven games into a season-high nine-game road trip (1-5-1).

"The mindset going in wasn't very good, especially when we knew that our road record over the year wasn't very good going into it and knowing that you lose two games on this trip and you're done, you're out of the playoffs," Legace said. "To lose them both early -- it just snowballed after that."

Andy McDonald also scored for the Blues, who had gone 0-7-3 on the road since a 4-1 win in Colorado on Feb. 14 to match the longest road losing streak in franchise history.

Mikhail Grabovski got Montreal even at 3 with his second goal of the season 6:36 into the third.

The sold-out crowd of 21,273 roared its approval as Grabovski beat Legace on a shot from the right side after receiving a pass from Sergei Kostitsyn.

Chris Higgins and Koivu also scored for the Canadiens, who are tied with New Jersey for the Eastern Conference lead with 90 points.

"We didn't play bad but it just wasn't good enough to win," Higgins said.

Montreal, which has eight games remaining, has a three-point lead in the Northeast Division over Ottawa, which has played one fewer game.

Halak, who is 2-0-1 in three starts this season, stopped 25 shots as he started his second straight game after posting his first shutout of the season in Saturday's 3-0 win over the New York Islanders.

Tkachuk got his 22nd goal on a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage early in the first period.

Montreal's Michael Ryder put the puck in the net 3:14 in, but no goal was awarded because Koivu had already been called for interference.

Tomas Plekanec was sent off 19 seconds later for holding Boyes and the Blues took advantage of the extra room on the power play as Tkachuk deflected Erik Johnson's shot from the left point past Halak to open the scoring 4:51 in.

Higgins drew Montreal even with his 22nd goal at 11:28, then assisted on Koivu's power-play goal 9:32 into the second that gave the Canadiens a short-lived 2-1 lead.

McDonald drew the Blues even 47 seconds later with his 15th goal at 10:19.

Paul Kariya got his second assist of the game at 15:57 when he set up Boyes, who was left alone in front of Halak to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.

Game notes


Kariya failed to score for a 17th straight game, dating back to the Blues' last road win. He has seven assists over that span. ... It was St. Louis' first game in Montreal since a 5-2 loss to the Canadiens on Jan. 13, 2004.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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