Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
St. Louis at Montreal
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

The Montreal Canadiens are off to a fast start due in large part to an offense that was supposed to be a question mark this season. With a pair of wins over Pittsburgh and a season-high outburst versus Detroit, the Canadiens aim to record their fourth victory in five outings Wednesday when they conclude their four-game homestand versus the St. Louis Blues.

"I think you have to sprint out of the gates to start the year to position yourself well, and then the marathon starts right after that," Montreal coach Claude Julien told reporters. "If you don't start out with a sprint, it's tough to catch up." Tomas Tatar hit the ground running by recording his second straight three-point performance against his former team in Monday's 7-3 triumph over the reeling Red Wings. St. Louis isn't doing much better than Detroit with losses in four of five outings heading into the opener of a three-game road trip versus Montreal, against which it has won five in a row and recorded at least a point in 12 of the last 15 encounters. Alex Steen, who scored in the Blues' 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on Jan. 30, extended his point streak to three games with a goal in Sunday's 3-2 setback against Anaheim.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), Sportsnet 1, RDS (Montreal)

ABOUT THE BLUES (1-2-2): Captain Alex Pietrangelo isn't taking his team's slow start lightly, especially after seeing third-period leads go by the boards in three of the past four outings. "I'm the one that leads this group and we've won one game," the 28-year-old Pietrangelo said. "It starts with me. I know I need to be better ... it's still on me. If we're not winning hockey games, that starts with me." Tyler Bozak, who tallied against the Ducks on Sunday, is expected to play his 600th career game Wednesday.

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (3-1-1): After mustering only five shots on goal during his first three games without registering a point, Jonathan Drouin matched that total and scored twice in Montreal's dismantling of Detroit. Fellow forward Brendan Gallagher has goals in back-to-back outings and three in his last four to pull even with Paul Byron and Tatar for the team lead. All three, however, failed to score a goal in last season's series against St. Louis.

OVERTIME

1. St. Louis G Jake Allen has won his last three starts versus Montreal, posting a 2.33 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

2. The Canadiens required 11 games last season (3-7-1) to notch their third win.

3. St. Louis LW Jaden Schwartz admitted to feeling better in practice Tuesday and hopes to draw back into the lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

PREDICTION: Blues 3, Canadiens 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
St. Louis 1-2-2-0 L2 1-2-1-0 0-0-1-0 0-0-0-0 1-2-2-0 0-1-2-0
Montreal 3-1-1-0 W2 2-1-0-0 1-0-1-0 0-0-0-0 3-1-1-0 1-0-1-0
Last Meeting
St. Louis Montreal
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
1/30/18 MON 1 STL 3 31 33 1-3 34 28 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
St. Louis I. Barbashev 1
Montreal B. Gallagher 1
Goals Player  
St. Louis I. Barbashev 1
Montreal C. Hudon 1
Assists Player  
St. Louis K. Brodziak 1
Montreal B. Gallagher 1
Saves Player  
St. Louis C. Hutton 33
Montreal C. Price 28
Season
Total Points Player  
St. Louis B. Schenn 8
Montreal T. Tatar 10
Goals Player  
St. Louis S. Blais 4
Montreal B. Gallagher 5
Assists Player  
St. Louis B. Schenn 6
Montreal P. Danault 6
Saves Player  
St. Louis J. Allen 168
Montreal C. Price 145
Quickchart Matchup
St. Louis Off vs  Montreal Def
3 GF
2.6 GA
34.6 Shots
26.6 Shots
7 PP
3 PK
Montreal Off vs  St. Louis Def
3.4 GF
4 GA
36 Shots
34 Shots
3 PP
3 PK