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Halak 33 saves, 2 more in shootout and Blues stay hot with 2-1 win over Bruins

The Canadian Press
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St. Louis Blues center Andy McDonald (10) tries to get past Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference during the first period of a NHL hockey game in Boston Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Author: The Hockey News

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Halak 33 saves, 2 more in shootout and Blues stay hot with 2-1 win over Bruins

The Canadian Press
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BOSTON - Jaroslav Halak finally gave up a goal. The posts can only help so much.

Halak's shutout streak ended, but the St. Louis goalie extended his winning streak to six straight games with a lot of help from the posts on Saturday night, and the Blues beat Boston 2-1 in a shootout.

Two would-be Bruins goals were overturned in regulation when replay showed they went off the posts; another two shots clanged off posts in the shootout.

"Usually that's a good thing for a goaltender, when it hits a post," Halak said with a smile. "Four posts tonight."

Ex-Bruins centre Vladimir Sobotka scored on a giveaway from Boston defenceman Dennis Seidenberg late in the first period. It stayed that way until Gregory Campbell scored with seven minutes left in the third period to tie the game and spoil Halak's hopes for a fourth shutout in five games.

It was the first goal he had allowed in 150 minutes three seconds.

"He was solid again," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "He makes a lot of key saves for us when we make mistakes. That's why he is the goaltender he is."

T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes both beat Tuukka Rask in the shootout. Halak stopped Patrice Bergeron and Michael Ryder, with help from the post both times.

"Our guys were hitting a lot of posts, and it ended up going in the wrong direction," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I thought our guys were a little snakebit: two reviews. Even in the overtime we scored a goal, and the other two hit posts."

Halak and the Blues have won six straight games—their longest winning streak since 2003. They have just one loss in regulation all season, and their four overtime games are the most in the NHL.

In the shootout, Bergeron put his shot off the left post, and Oshie went under Rask's pads to make it 1-0. Tyler Seguin faked right and went left for a backhand that tied it, then Boyes scored to put the Blues back in the lead. When Ryder's shot appeared to deflect off Halak's glove and then the post, the Blues had clinched the win.

The Bruins have lost back-to-back games for the first time, losing to Washington 5-3 on Friday night after Rask came in to replace starter Tim Thomas in the third period, trailing 3-0. That leaves Rask with all four of Boston's losses this season.

But he matched Halak in regulation, stopping 34 shots in his best performance of the season.

"An unlucky start for him thus far," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "But he was great tonight and kept us in the game."

And the Boston offence just missed giving him the win.

The Bruins saw the red light go on twice, but both goals were erased on replay.

In the first period, Nathan Horton did a spin move from the right circle and sent the puck off the far post. It bounced behind Halak, who reached back and covered it with his glove as the light went on; the referee immediately signalled no goal.

In the second, it was Horton again who lost the goal on review. He made a quality move to get around defenceman Eric Brewer, who hooked Horton down as he put the puck off the top corner of the net on Halak's glove side. It bounced onto the goal-line and trickled around but, replay showed, didn't go into the net.

The Bruins finally tied it when Ryder brought the puck over at the left side and centred it to Campbell, who one-timed a shot as he dropped to his knee.

NOTES: Andrew Ference and David Backes fought early in the second, and Mark Stuart and B.J. Crombeen mixed it up later in the period. ... Bruins F David Krecji had to be helped off the ice after a hard collision with Oshie in the first minute of overtime. ... It was the only meeting between these teams this season.

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Halak 33 saves, 2 more in shootout and Blues stay hot with 2-1 win over Bruins