The Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues will visit a team that wants to follow them as champions when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
The Blues, who posted their first win of the season Saturday 3-2 over the Dallas Stars, know that other teams will give St. Louis their best effort, especially a team like the Maple Leafs, who feel their time has come.
"It's not going to be easy," said Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, who made 27 saves Saturday. "People are going to be playing hard every game. That's the NHL. Every night is a tough game. There's skill on every team. You've got to be prepared, do your best and play hard for each other."
The Maple Leafs won their first two games of the season and seemed poised to make it three straight before being undone by a third-period lapse Saturday in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Maple Leafs led 4-1 in the third period before the Habs scored four straight goals to take the lead. The second goal of the game -- and fifth of the season -- by Auston Matthews tied it late but Montreal had the only goal of the shootout.
The Maple Leafs played Friday in Columbus as they opened their season with three games in four nights and will be playing for the fourth time in six days Monday.
"I think obviously we're back-to-back, it's no secret we were probably going to be fatigued," Matthews said. "But we can't let that get in the way, making bone-headed mistakes and costing us opportunities at the other end that they're capitalizing on. It's definitely something we can learn from, but it's something we've run into in the past. I think it's just on us to make sure no matter how tired we are, we're making good decisions and taking care of the puck and playing in their zone, not ours."
The worst mistake came when Maple Leafs right winger Kasperi Kapanen threw his broken stick toward Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry during a Canadiens' power play. Petry tied the game at 4 on the resulting penalty shot.
"I know everybody knows it's a big mistake on my part, and if I knew that rule existed or if I thought I was actually going to hit his stick I wouldn't have done that," Kapanen said. "I take full responsibility."
Backup goaltender Michael Hutchinson made his first start of the season Saturday, and it's expected that Frederik Andersen will return to the nets Monday.
The Blues have three points from their first two games.
The Blues won Saturday with a goal at 10:25 of the third period when a shot by Carl Gunnarsson deflected off of Sammy Blais and a Stars' defenseman and between the pads of goaltender Ben Bishop.
"It was a good bounce," said Blais, who has two goals this season. "When you work hard, you get some good bounces. I'm just happy to get in the position I'm at right now. I've just got to keep going."
The left winger also had an assist Saturday.
"It's nice to get the first win out of the way and start building our game," said left winger David Perron, who scored a goal for the Blues on Saturday.
Blues center Robert Thomas (upper-body injury) sat out Saturday and was listed as day-to-day.
Zach Sanford moved onto Tyler Bozak's line, with Robby Fabbri switching from left wing to right wing.