BOSTON -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after his team's morning skate Thursday that the battle with the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins would give him more information about his team.
Most of that information had to be positive, as the Blues extended their franchise-record best start with a victory at TD Garden.
Derek Roy beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in the fourth round of the shootout to clinch a 3-2 win for the Blues.
St. Louis heads home from a 2-1-0 road trip with a 15-3-3 overall record, the best start in franchise history. The Bruins fell to 14-6-2.
"Well I think if that's the level, that's a pretty high level. I thought Boston played really well in the first and third, and we played very well in the second," Hitchcock said. "I think we know there's another level out there, and I think going home and getting ready for it is going to help us. So we got the information we needed.
"I thought both teams put a lot of pressure on each team's defense. I don't think either team had a fun time in their own end, because we were either forechecking them or they were forechecking the heck out of us. So it was a very intense, hard hockey game."
Roy, who had scored one of the Blues' goals in regulation, hit the crossbar on an overtime breakaway.
"We do video on the other goalie and that was my move. Just coming in with speed and then go high glove and try and surprise him," Roy said. "And I surprised him, but it hit the crossbar. So I wanted to redeem myself in the shootout, and coach put me out there, so it gave me a shot at it."
Carl Soderberg, who also scored a goal in regulation, had Boston's best scoring chance in overtime, but Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped the forward on a breakaway.
Halak finished the first 65 minutes with 29 saves on 31 shots. Rask stopped 24 of 26 shots.
Neither of the two goals scored in the first period will show up on any highlight reels. First, Bruins center Gregory Campbell one-timed a pass from Matt Bartkowski off the heel of his stick. The puck stayed on the ice and glided past Halak to the glove side for a 1-0 Boston lead at 18:20. Campbell hadn't scored in 30 games dating back to last April.
The Blues tied the game at 1-1 with an equally awkward goal 31 seconds later. Roy one-touched the puck from the top of the left circle toward the net. The puck fluttered a little bit, but stayed along the ice as it went past Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk and Blues forward Chris Stewart, who were battling at the left dot, and slid through Rask's five-hole before the goaltender could get his stick down.
"I didn't even know I scored it," Roy said. "So I just tried to pull it to my forehand and shoot it and get it towards the net, because I knew there was a couple guys there. And it happened to go in. My linemates battled to get to the front of the net."
The Bruins outshot the Blues 10-8 in the period.
St. Louis grabbed its first lead with 5:56 remaining in the second period. David Backes won a draw against Milan Lucic after Bruins center David Krejci was kicked out of the right dot. Backes then went to the net, where he joined teammate Alexander Steen. Kevin Shattenkirk's shot from the point went off Backes' stick and past Rask for a 2-1 Blues edge.
Soderberg made sure the teams went to the second intermission tied again. Chris Kelly sent the puck from behind the net to Soderberg at the top of the right circle, and then Soderberg's wrist shot went through Kelly's screen and over Halak at 18:41.
In the shootout, Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston and Steen tied it up in the second round before Roy's fourth-round winner.
The Blues have won their past six games in Boston. The Bruins have not won against St. Louis at TD Garden since Jan. 30, 2001. The Bruins, who just returned from a 2-1-0 road trip, will remain home for games against the Carolina Hurricanes (Saturday) and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Just as the Blues were looking at the Bruins as a measuring stick, the Bruins were looking at the matchup of two of the best teams in the League as an important early-season test.
"I think a lot of times we're the team that people are trying to scale their game at," Kelly said. "And tonight it was kind of the tables were turned, with how well they've been playing, and we wanted to come out and show what we had. And I thought we did a good job at that.
"Yeah, I think the ultimate compliment for both sides is when teams get up to play you. It's nice that they said that, and obviously we felt that as well."
With their road trip completed, the Blues will be home Saturday against the Dallas Stars.
"At the end of our road trip, grinding it out against a good, hard-fought team, and we know they play strong at home -- they like to come out physical -- we weathered the storm right away and then responded on their goal," Roy said. "And I thought all around we did a good job."