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Jaroslav Halak is a Slovak professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League (NHL). Halák was the 271st overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. In the midst of a stellar season with the Montreal Canadiens' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, Halák was called up to the Canadiens on February 15, 2007, after an injury to Montreal's starting goaltender, Cristobal Huet. At the time of his call-up, Halák had a 2.00 goals against average (GAA) with the Bulldogs, the lowest in the AHL. He played his first NHL game on February 18, 2007, stopping 31 shots in a 3–2 road win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Halák earned his first career NHL shutout on March 20, 2007, making thirty saves to give the Montreal Canadiens a 1–0 victory over the rival Boston Bruins. Halák's great play towards the end of the 2006–07 season helped keep Montreal in a fight for a playoff spot despite the injury to Huet.
Halak went on to be named the Montreal Canadiens' Molson Cup Player of the Year for the 2009-10 season and was designated the starter heading into their first-round playoff match-up against the President's Trophy-winning Washington Capitals. In the sixth game of the series, Halák stopped 53 shots to set a club record for a playoff game (in regulation-time), leading the Canadiens to a 4-1 victory. Ultimately, the Canadiens overcame a 3-1 series deficit to win the series in seven games, marking one of the biggest upsets in NHL history.
January 29th, 2013
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