Berglund gets hat trick, lifts Blues over Canadiens 4-2
MONTREAL (AP) — Patrik Berglund finally got his first NHL hat trick — and it gave the St. Louis Blues a fourth straight win on the road.
Berglund’s first three-goal game in 611 career NHL games lifted the Blues to a 4-2 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
The Swedish center had only one goal in his first 30 games this season, but now has 16 in his last 25, including six in his last five games.
“It feels really good,” Berglund said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for it, but going back home to St. Louis with four tough road wins is an even better feeling.
“I’ve been around the net more and I’ve been a little lucky, too. Pucks have been going in. I’m not missing the net.”
David Perron also scored for the Blues, who have won five of their last six while riding the bump of a coaching change that saw Mike Yeo take over from Ken Hitchcock behind the bench on Feb. 1.
Shea Weber and Max Pacioretty scored for the Canadiens, who are 1-4-1 in their last six.
Montreal controlled most of the play and outshot St. Louis 30-22 but lacked finish around the net.
“Moral victories don’t get you points in the standings,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “I’m disappointed in the result. Our players deserved better. I liked our effort.”
The Blues have won four road games in six nights, but will get a couple of days at home before playing a fifth straight away contest Wednesday in Detroit.
The Blues went ahead 3:49 into the game when Jeff Petry lost his stick and Alex Pietrangelo had an open shot that Berglund got a piece of as it went past Al Montoya, who lost his balance and fell in his crease just before the shot was taken. It was the first goal Montoya allowed at the Bell Centre this season in four appearances.
Weber tied it at 16:39 with a blast from the right point that handcuffed Jake Allen.
Perron scored 7:20 into the second period when he took a drop pass from Jori Lehtera and shot between Montoya’s pads.
After a long stretch of play in St. Louis’ zone, Nathan Beaulieu’s shot went in off Pacioretty at 12:55 for the Canadiens captain’s 28th of the season.
Berglund got his second of the game with 25 seconds left in the period on a shot through a screen. He added an empty-netter to complete the hat trick at 18:59 of the third, as Perron left the puck for him to tap in the goal.
“I probably owe him one,” Berglund said of Perron. “That was really nice of him to let that one go to me.”
Perron had a laugh about the awkward goal.
“We were really close to the net and looked like he almost lost it,” Perron said. “I don’t know if he was trying to give me a point there, but I’m like: ‘You’re taking it buddy.’”
NOTES: Canadiens C Tomas Plekanec played his 900th NHL game. ... Blues C Paul Stastny sat out with a lower-body injury suffered Thursday in Toronto. ... Montreal RW Brendan Gallagher, out since Jan. 7 with a broken hand, is scheduled to return Sunday night in Boston. Carey Price is expected to start in goal for that game. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for former Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, who died this week.
Blues: at Detroit on Wednesday night.
Canadiens: at Boston on Sunday night.