ST. LOUIS (AP) – Carter Hutton insists his recent run is not the result of a new strategy or a different outlook.
“I’m the same goalie, I’m just playing more,” Hutton said.
And winning, too.
Hutton stopped 33 shots in his sixth straight start, helping the St. Louis Blues beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The 32-year-old Hutton appears to have supplanted Jake Allen as St. Louis’ No. 1 goaltender. He is 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts and has stopped 94 of 96 shots over the last three games.
“When you get a chance to play some games you have to play well,” Hutton said. “Before I was playing well every two weeks. Now, I’m getting more chances.”
St. Louis coach Mike Yeo said the team still has plans for Allen, but he acknowledged he can’t sit Hutton down while he is on a big-time roll.
“It’s a mixture of confidence and desire to stay in there,” Yeo said. “He’s doing a great job.”
Montreal captain Max Pacioretty said Hutton was the difference.
“We just weren’t able to solve (Hutton) enough to give us a chance to win,” Pacioretty said.
St. Louis has won five of six overall. The struggling Canadiens have lost 11 of 15.
Ivan Barbashev, Patrik Berglund and Alexander Steen scored for St. Louis, which has won its last five games against Montreal.
Charles Hudon broke up Hutton’s shutout bid with a 6-on-4 goal with 1:07 remaining.
Barbashev snapped a scoreless tie with his second goal of the season early in the second period. He whipped a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle past goalie Carey Price, who fell to 14-18-4. Barbashev spent 21 games in the minors earlier this season.
“I’ve got a better pace since the start of the season,” Barbashev said. “It makes me feel more comfortable out there.”
Berglund pushed the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal early in the third. He jumped on the rebound of a shot by Tage Thompson.
Steen added an empty-netter with 2:17 left.
Montreal is 2-4-2 in its last eight games and remains 10 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“We’re not looking for moral victories, we’re looking for points,” Pacioretty said. “Really what we need are answers among ourselves about how to win hockey games.”
Montreal winger Paul Byron left the ice after being shoved into the boards late in the third period. Coach Claude Julien said the injury does not appear to be “overly alarming.”
NOTES: Montreal C Phillip Danault missed his seventh consecutive game with a concussion. … The Blues have earned at least one point in eight of their last 10 games against Montreal. … Canadiens D Joe Morrow returned to the lineup in place of Jordie Benn. Morrow had been a healthy scratch in the previous seven games. … The Canadiens recorded the first nine shots of the game.
Canadiens: Visit Carolina on Thursday.
Blues: Visit Boston on Thursday.