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Game Preview: Blues @ Canadiens

Vladimir Tarasenko and a streaking St. Louis Blues squad battle the Canadiens in their penultimate game before the bye week break

by Montreal Canadiens @canadiensmtl /

BLUES (28-22-5) @ CANADIENS (31-17-8)

The Canadiens welcome the St. Louis Blues to the Bell Centre on Saturday night for their final home game ahead of the upcoming bye week.

Michel Therrien's troops are coming off a big win in Glendale, besting the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 in overtime on Thursday night to snap a four-game winless streak. Captain Max Pacioretty scored his 26th and 27th goals of the season in the win, and collected two assists along the way as well. He picked up the lone helper on Alex Galchenyuk's tally that sealed the victory at the 2:13 mark of the extra frame. 

Video: Pacioretty leads Habs to comeback OT victory

Pacioretty's first tally of the game was also the 200th goal of his NHL career. He lit the lamp just 57 seconds into the first period, and in doing so snapped the Canadiens' goal drought at 137:11. Pacioretty, who amassed 10 shots on Coyotes netminder Mike Smith, has six goals in his last six games and currently ranks third in the League in goals behind Jeff Carter (29) and Sidney Crosby (30).

Michael McCarron, Daniel Carr and Greg Pateryn were all inserted into the lineup in the Valley of the Sun in place of David Desharnais, Brian Flynn and Nikita Nesterov.

Al Montoya will get the start for the Canadiens. Pacioretty, meanwhile, is a game-time decision after coming down with the flu and missing the morning skate.

The Blues, meanwhile, are coming off an overtime victory of their own on Thursday night, downing the Maple Leafs 2-1 at the Air Canada Centre. Vladimir Tarasenko clinched the win for head coach Mike Yeo's contingent just 20 seconds into the extra frame, while Jake Allen made 31 saves between the pipes. St. Louis boasts a 4-1-0 record since Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock behind the bench.

The Blues will be going in search of their fourth straight road victory. They blanked the Philadelphia Flyers and the Ottawa Senators on Monday and Tuesday night, respectively, in their buildings. 

For his part, Tarasenko currently leads the Blues in scoring with 26 goals and 53 points in 55 games so far this season. 

Paul Stastny (lower-body) is doubtful to play against the Canadiens, but hasn't been ruled out. Yeo indicated that he doesn't expect him to be out long term.

Back in early December, the Canadiens dropped a 3-2 decision to the Blues in overtime at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Following Saturday night's contest, the Canadiens will fly to Boston where they'll play the Bruins on Sunday night at TD Garden before enjoying four straight days of well-deserved rest.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on CITY and TVA Sports, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.

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