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Blues suffer first regulation loss, fall to Canadiens 6-3

Blues suffer first regulation loss, fall to Canadiens 6-3

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Blues Canadiens Hockey

Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington is scored on by Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Tatar, not shown, as Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher (11) and Blues' Alex Pietrangelo look for a rebound in first period of a game in Montreal on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Blues suffered their first loss in regulation this season, allowing a season-high six goals in a 6-3 loss to the Canadiens at Bell Centre in Montreal. 

After allowing four goals to Ottawa on Thursday, the Blues gave up six more (the last into an empty net) to Montreal and if Blues coach Craig Berube was concerned about the team's defensive play after the Ottawa game this will only amplify those concerns as the team looks to put together a complete game for the first time this season.

The third period was all Montreal, as they outshot the Blues 16-10. In the game, Montreal outshot the Blues 38-29 and the shot attempts were a lopsided 72-41.

"They played better and played harder than us. That's what it boils down to." Berube said. "They deserved to win. Tonight we didn't play hard enough, didn't compete hard enough, didn't manage the puck."

The Blues were 3-0-1 in their first four games, with an overtime loss to Washington on opening night. The Blues were trying to have a point in their first five games for the first time in franchise history and be the first Stanley Cup champion since Detroit in 1998 to start with points in five games.

The Canadiens outscored the Blues 3-0 in the third period, breaking open a game that was tied after 40 minutes. Artturi Lehkonen started the period's scoring with a second-chance wraparound goal with 12:30 to go after Jordan Binnington had made the initial save. 

With 8:04 to go, Brendan Gallagher scored to make it 5-3 after going to the goal and bumping into Binnington, though the Blues didn't challenge for goalie interference. And then with 2:28 to play, Max Domi scored into an empty net to seal the win. The Canadiens had a chance for another goal, but Binnington stopped a penalty shot by Joel Armia with 5:30 to play.

The Blues did what they've done several times already this season, coming back from a deficit to take the lead, though they couldn't hold this one.

The Blues entered the second period down 2-1 but quickly got even when Sammy Blais, who grew up about three hours from Montreal, scored on a backhand shot from a sharp angle on a delayed penalty just 1:05 into the second. The Blues took the lead on a power-play goal by Vince Dunn with 7:10 to go in the second off a pass from Brayden Schenn.

But the lead didn't last, with Phillip Danault scoring on a pass from Gallagher with 4:25 to go in the period.

Blais' goal was his third of the season, surpassing his total for all of last season in just five games. He took the puck the length of the ice after Montreal ran into Binnington in goal. Carey Price made the initial save on the play but Blais got the puck back and backhanded it in.

Another sluggish start for the Blues left them trailing 2-1 after the first period against the Canadiens.

The Blues had gotten off to quick starts in their first two games before struggling through the second peirod. On their current trip, it's been the reverse, with opponents taking it to them from the opening whistle and the Blues only finding their game later.

Schenn scored for the Blues, his fourth straight game with a goal, with 2:02 to play in the period, to tie the game, but Montreal retook the lead 49 seconds later when a bad line change by the Blues left Jonathan Drouin with a lane down the middle to score on Binnington.

Montreal had taken the lead with 7:01 to go in the period, with Tomas Tatar scoring on a backhander in front of the net off a faceoff. 

That perked the Blues up a little and five minutes later, Jaden Schwartz dropped a pass for Vladimir Tarasenko, who passed to Schenn for the goal.

Both teams had a power play in the first period and neither team scored. The Blues had only one shot on their power play and almost gave up another shorthanded goal but Binnington made a save on a breakaway. That left the Blues 2 for 12 on the season on the power play; they came into the game tied for 20th in the league on the power play.

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