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Pacioretty’s 2 goals lift Canadiens over Blues 4-1

MONTREAL (AP) — Max Pacioretty scored twice, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Thursday night.

Dale Weise and Lars Eller also scored for Montreal, and Carey Price made 31 saves.

Vladimir Tarasenko was the lone scorer for St. Louis. Jake Allen stopped 26 shots in defeat.

Pacioretty netted the winner at 7:32 of the second — his team-leading ninth goal. He got the better of Allen on a breakaway after taking a stretch pass from linemate Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau from his own zone.

The Canadiens (15-5-1) stretched their lead atop the Eastern Conference to three points. The Blues have lost consecutive games after winning 10 of 11.

Tarasenko scored at 7:45 of the first period, batting the puck out of the air. The goal came on the Blues’ third shot.

The period was played largely in the neutral zone and along the boards, and the Canadiens failed to score a goal in the first period for the 16th time this season.

After going 96 minutes, 9 seconds without scoring a goal — dating to the third period against Detroit on Sunday — the Canadiens scored twice in quick succession against the Blues.

Weise jumped on a defensive blunder by Kevin Shattenkirk to tie it 1-1 at 4:50 of the second. Shattenkirk made an ill-advised pass out from behind his net that was intercepted by Weise, who waited for Allen to go down before beating him high for his fourth goal.

Weise scored only three times in 17 games last season.

Pacioretty scored less than three minutes later.

In the third, after Price made back-to-back sensational saves on two odd-man rushes 20 seconds apart, first on Jori Lehtera and then on Jaden Schwartz, Pacioretty added his second of the game off a pass by David Desharnais.

The Canadiens were well disciplined for the second straight game, taking no penalties against St. Louis’ NHL-best road power-play unit (30.4 percent).

Earlier Thursday, Montreal acquired veteran defenseman Bryan Allen from Anaheim for Rene Bourque.

NOTES: Earlier Thursday, Montreal acquired veteran defenseman Bryan Allen from Anaheim for Rene Bourque. … Canadiens D Mike Weaver was back in the lineup. … The Blues came in with a league-low 1.89 goals-against-average. … St. Louis hadn’t lost a game in Montreal since 2004. … The Canadiens are 12-0 when tied or leading after two periods.

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