NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (23-14-4) at Dallas Stars (20-12-7), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars will try to extend their season-high seven-game point streak on Thursday night as they welcome a Montreal Canadiens club that is closing out a six-game road trip.
The Stars have gone 5-0-2 over their last seven games and have also picked up a point in each of their past five contests at home. They are 4-0-1 in that span and play the fourth contest of a five-game residency tonight.
Dallas got second-period goals from Tyler Seguin and Erik Cole in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, while Kari Lehtonen came up with 23 saves.
Seguin's 20th goal of the season came on the power play, while Cole added a first-period goal on the man advantage as well. Jamie Benn had two assists.
"We were as solid as we could be," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "You are going to have to give us some opportunities. I think we gave up one other one where they hit the post but I thought we still played and moved the puck well."
Dallas played without forward Ray Whitney due to illness and he is questionable for tonight.
Montreal has gone 2-2-1 on its road trip, but failed to hold a three-goal lead in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime setback to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
The Canadiens led 3-0 going into the third period, but saw the Hurricanes score four straight, including a pair of power-play goals 37 seconds apart early in the third.
P.K. Subban tied the game for Montreal on a power-play goal of his own to force overtime, but Carolina's Alexander Semin notched the winner at 3:27 of the extra frame.
Max Pacioretty scored twice and Lars Eller also scored for the Canadiens, who got 37 saves by Carey Price.
"The penalties caught up with us because they got some power-play goals and it gave them life," said Eller.
Pacioretty has a club-high 17 goals on the season and on Wednesday was named to the U.S. Olympic team for the upcoming 2014 Games in Russia.
The Canadiens took the first of two meetings between the clubs this season with a 2-1 decision at home on Oct. 29. However, the Stars are 5-1-0 with a tie in their last seven at home versus the Habs.
Price made 26 saves in the earlier win over the Stars, improving to 3-3-0 with a 2.84 goals against average in six career meetings.
Lehtonen ended with 22 stops and in his career versus the Habs is 7-5-1 with a 2.42 GAA and two shutouts.
01/02 10:35:48 ET