MONTREAL (AP)Joel Armia scored twice and the Montreal Canadiens snapped an embarrassing seven-game losing skid in a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Josh Anderson scored his 11th of the season to give Montreal (16-21-3) the win in a final frame where five goals were scored. Kirby Dach and Cole Caufield also scored for Montreal.
The Blues (19-18-3) were helped by their fourth line. Alexey Toropchenko scored while Nikita Alexandrov netted his first NHL goal. Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich added goals.
”I think it’s the Saturday night energy,” said Habs coach Martin St. Louis. ”You knew there would be energy in the building tonight and we built our game as it went on.
”Our special teams were good tonight and as the game went on, the guys knew we were playing well, and when you’re in the game in the third it’s easier to have passion.”
Jake Allen made 18 saves as the Canadiens swept the season series against his former team.
Christian Dvorak tried to rekindle the magic from the last Canadiens-Blues encounter, where he bagged a hat trick in a 7-4 win. Late in the first period, Dvorak found his way between Blues defensemen Calle Rosen and Faulk but Binnington denied the center’s effort to score the first goal.
Seconds later, the Blues broke the ice on the counterattack. Brayden Schenn passed over to Saad on a two-on-one down the ice giving the visitors a 1-0 lead by the first intermission.
Armia levelled the score for Montreal 1:43 into the second period.
After being a healthy scratched in Montreal’s 6-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Jan. 3, Armia has scored in consecutive games.
”I don’t feel like I played that well,” said Armia of his play before getting scratched. ”You just need to sometimes look in the mirror and demand better, better of yourself.”
”I had many discussions (with Armia) since the start of the season but they can only bring him so far,” said St. Louis. ”He needs to reflect and get himself out of it. I’m happy for Army.”
The Blues regained the lead when former Hab Tyler Pitlick found Toropchenko, who scored his second goal of the campaign.
Jordan Binnington made 22 saves for the Blues.
”We just lost coverage around our net on a couple of plays. One play, we don’t get it out of the blue line and it comes back at us,” said Blues coach Craig Berube. ”Mistakes, too many penalties. Eight minutes in penalties tonight.”
Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo suffered a lower-body injury in the first period. The Blues announced in the first intermission that he would not return to the game.
DEFENSEMEN REACH MILESTONES
Canadiens defenseman David Savard skated in his 700th NHL game. He split his 12-year NHL career between the Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning and collected 191 points (45 goals, 146 assists) along the way.
On the other side of the ice, Blues defenseman Faulk laced up his skates for an 800th NHL game. The 33-year-old also played 12 seasons in the NHL with the Blues and the Carolina Hurricanes totaling 368 points (119 goals, 249 assists).
Blues: At Minnesota on Sunday night to finish a four-game trip.
Canadiens: Host Seattle on Monday night in the third of a four-game homestand.
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