ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong ended a Thursday morning news conference by saying that Alexander Steen had to leave, "to go out and earn his money," after the left wing had signed a three-year, $17.4 million contract extension.
So far, Steen is off to a good start.
He scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves against his former team to lead the Blues to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
St. Louis broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-3-2 at home.
Montreal has lost four of six.
Steen recorded his fifth two-goal game of the season. His 24 goals place him second behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who has 28.
"It was a pretty good day," Steen said.
Steen tied a career high for most goals in a season. He also had 24 in 2009-2010.
Steen's signing ignited his teammates.
"When the news first broke, it fired everyone up," winger Chris Stewart said. "We came out with the right intensity."
Halak improved to 4-0 against the Canadiens, who traded him to St. Louis on June 17, 2010. He is 17-6-2 this season.
Stewart, Jaden Schwartz and Maxim Lapierre also scored for St. Louis. T.J. Oshie added two assists.
Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which began a season-high six-game road trip. It was his first goal in 12 games.
Steen started a three-goal outburst in the first period with a short-handed goal at 4:20. He scored again at 7:55 to make it 2-0.
Steen gave his teammates credit for the win.
"We played a solid game throughout the whole 60 minutes," he said. "We came out with a lot of jump. I felt like we dictated from the early going."
Stewart capped the early blitz with his 10th goal of the season at 13:33. It was his fifth in as many games. The Blues had been outscored 6-1 in the first period in their three previous games.