Though they’ll be there for only two games, the St. Louis Blues will likely welcome their return home after a rough road trip.
The Blues look to build off their first victory in three weeks as they host the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.
St. Louis (6-8-1) won 4-3 in overtime at Chicago on Friday to snap a six-game losing streak, and conclude a dismal 1-3-1 road trip where it was outscored 22-16.
“The last road trip I thought we played pretty well and didn’t get the results,” said St. Louis’ Andy McDonald, who scored two goals, including on a power play 2:15 into the extra session. “The guys were pretty emotional.”
The Blues, who have struggled since winning four of five to open the season, also will host Anaheim on Friday before heading back on the road for three games.
“I don’t think there’s (a) game in this five-game trip we haven’t battled,” said Blues coach Andy Murray, whose team had last won 4-0 over Florida on Oct. 25. “We were rewarded (Friday) because we stuck with it.”
St. Louis won 4-3 in a shootout at Montreal on March 18 after losing two in a row to the Canadiens.
McDonald, who has five goals over his last five games, scored in the most recent contest with Montreal. He also has had two assists in his last two games versus the Canadiens.
Keith Tkachuk scored for the Blues the last time he faced the Canadiens, and has a team-leading nine goals this season, but just one in his last seven contests.
Manny Legace made 32 saves against Chicago to improve to 5-3-0 with a 3.46 goals-against average this season. He’s 2-0-0 with a 2.40 GAA against the Canadiens in his career.
Montreal (9-4-2) begins a three-game road swing after a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday, handing the Canadiens two straight regulation losses for the first time since Feb. 21-23.
The Canadiens are 1-3-1 since starting 8-1-1, and coming off a season where they recorded an Eastern Conference-best 104 points.
“I think we’re relying too much on what we did last year, both as a team and as individual players,” said Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau, whose team has scored two goals in its last two contests. “We did some nice things last year, but last year is last year. When you start a new season you don’t start with 20 goals or 13 assists or 40 assists, you start at zero.
“You have to work for those points, and right now we have guys who think they’re working, but they’re not working.”
Tanguay extended his points streak to five games, recording two goals and four assists during that span. Koivu, who had a goal in last season’s loss to St. Louis and scored in a 6-1 loss at Boston on Thursday, has four goals and four assists in 11 games against the Blues.