MONTREAL - The Canadiens defended their fortress and slayed the reigning Stanley Cup champions in the process.
Brendan Gallagher scored a goal and added two assists as the Montreal Canadiens doubled the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Saturday night at Bell Centre.
Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Drouin, Philip Danault, Arturri Lehkonen, and Max Domi also scored for Montreal (2-1-2).
"We had a good game today," Danault said. "We had the Stanley Cup champions so it was a good challenge for us,"
But it was Drouin who was awarded his team's player of the game award, a sword replica from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Conan the Barbarian.
"Last year we had the cape. This year it's the sword. It's a new tradition," Drouin said.
Brayden Schenn, Samuel Blais, and Vince Dunn replied for St. Louis (3-1-1). It's the Blues' first regulation loss of the season.
"They played better, they played harder than us," Blues head coach Craig Berube said.
Montreal goalie Carey Price made 26 saves for the win while St. Louis's Jordan Binnington stopped 31.
Saturday's win was the Canadiens' first regulation victory of the season and came on their third game in four nights. Montreal head coach Claude Julien gave his players the day off from skating Friday but had his players watch video to prepare for the Blues.
"We're fortunate enough that two (of our games) were at home," Julien said. "These guys use a lot of energy night after night. They get on the plane, they get back home at one in the morning. They've got to play the next night. It's not easy, but you have to manage it,"
Tatar's first-period goal got the Canadiens on the board when the Slovakian winger got his stick on a bouncing puck that couldn't settle in front of the Blues defence and Binnington. Tatar then tipped the puck past the netminder for his second goal of the season.
Schenn tied the game 1-1 with 2:03 left in the period for the Blues. The Saskatoon native fired a shot that banked off the inside post past Price, before hitting the back of the net and out.
Less than a minute later, Drouin responded with a goal of his own. He skated into the offensive zone and fired a shot past Binnington as two Blues defenders closed in on him. Drouin now has at least a point in each game he's played this season.
The Blues tied the game in the second period when Blais scored a goal off a tight angle. Blais corralled the puck in a corner of the ice to the left of Price, retrieving it along the red line and lifting the puck into the net.
Dunn gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal 11 minutes later.
The Blues' advantage lasted less than three minutes once Danault tied the game at 15:35 of the second period.
Lehkonen put away the winner for the Canadiens at 7:30 of the third. He wrapped around Binnington and jammed the puck underneath the goalie's left pad, stabbing at it until it went in the net. Gallagher and Domi scored insurance markers in the third to put the game out of reach.
"We had it 3-3 going into the third," Schenn said. "Didn't bring out our best effort in the third. We turned over pucks and they just wanted it more than us in the third period."
Montreal's next game is Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre. St. Louis next plays Monday against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2019.