Berglund hat trick lifts Blues to fourth straight win, 4-2 over Canadiens
St. Louis Blues centre Patrik Berglund (21) celebrates with teammate defenceman Alex Pietrangelo (27) after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during second period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, February 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
MONTREAL — Patrik Berglund finally got his first NHL hat trick and it gave the St. Louis Blues a fourth straight win on the road.
The red-hot Berglund’s first three-goal game in 611 career NHL contests lifted the Blues to a 4-2 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
The Swedish centre had only one goal in his first 30 games this season, but now has 16 in his last 25 outings, including six in his last five games.
“It feels really good,” said Berglund. “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 (29-22-5), 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 (31-18-8), 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,” said Canadiens coach Michel Therrien. “I’m disappointed in the result.
“Our players deserved better. I liked our effort. The (Phillip) Danault line (with Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov) played well, but we need more contributions from the rest of our forwards.”
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 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 frame when he took a drop pass from Jori Lehtera and shot between Montoya’s pads.
After a long stretch of play in the 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 and added another into an empty net at 18:59 of the third, as Perron left the puck for him to tap in the hat-trick 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 empty netter.
“We were really close to the net and looked like he almost lost it,” said Perron. “I don’t know if he was trying to give me a point there, but I’m like: ‘You’re taking it buddy.’
“He battled so hard and over the last 30 games or so and he’s got a lot of goals. It’s impressive how he’s playing now. Big centres are playmakers a lot of the time but he’s really good with his stick around the net and getting tips. He’s a good goal scorer.”
Tomas Plekanec played his 900th NHL game, all with Montreal.
St. Louis centre Paul Stastny sat out with a lower-body injury suffered Thursday in Toronto.
Montreal right winger Brendan Gallagher, out since Jan. 7 with a broken hand, is scheduled to return for a game Sunday night in Boston. To make room for him, Daniel Carr was returned to the St.John’s IceCaps after the game.
Carey Price is expected to start that game against an Atlantic Division rival.
A moment of silence was held for former Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, who died this week.
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press
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