NHL Game Summary - Dallas at Montreal
(Monday, January 16th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Dallas 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Mike Ribeiro scored twice in the first period and Jose Theodore made 35 saves as Montreal earned its second straight victory under new coach Bob Gainey, a 4-2 decision over Dallas at the Bell Centre.
Jan Bulis and Radek Bonk each set up both of Ribeiro's tallies to help the Canadiens move to 2-0 under Gainey, the Habs' general manager who fired Claude Julien over the weekend and assumed head coaching duties on an interim basis.
Gainey was the Stars' head coach from 1990-96, and in another interesting subplot, brought over former Dallas assistant GM Guy Carbonneau to serve as an associate coach upon taking over bench duties.
"With Bob behind the bench, their guys are going to play extremely hard for him," remarked Stars wing Bill Guerin.
Dallas, which had a season-best six-game win streak snapped, received goals from Niklas Hagman and Antti Miettinen. Marty Turco stopped just 11 of 15 shots in the loss.
Montreal, which racked up four power-play goals in Saturday's 6-2 win over San Jose, cashed in on each of its first three tries with the man advantage to build a sizeable early lead.
The first came just 1:05 after the opening whistle, when Ribeiro scored in close from a backhanded feed from Bulis.
The pair teamed up again later in the first period to give the Canadiens a two-goal advantage.
Bonk sent the puck up the left side to Bulis, who slid a pass across the crease to an awaiting Ribeiro with 6:18 remaining in the opening session.
Alexei Kovalev put Montreal up 3-0 with a nifty power-play tally just 2:41 into the second. The talented Russian skated into the right circle and then to the middle before faking a shot and then wristing the puck past Turco's glove.
"Kovalev has tremendous skills, along with (Saku) Koivu," said Guerin. "(With) guys like that, they're naturally going to create offense."
Dallas finally got on the board less than two minutes later. Guerin flew behind the net and delivered a backhander for Hagman. The puck bounced off Montreal's Mark Streit before scooting past Theodore and over the line.
However, the Canadiens restored the three-goal margin shortly afterward. Chris Higgins corralled a giveaway from the Stars' Jussi Jokinen and rushed up ice. Michael Ryder then took in a pass from Koivu and let fly a wrister from the left circle which beat Turco at the 7:50 mark of the second frame.
"We weren't consistent before Saturday," said Koivu. "Our power play and shorthand have been positive in the past two games. Having a lead, we played with confidence and (that) helped get the next goal."
The Stars cut into the deficit when Miettinen's shot from the left slot got through the legs of Theodore with 6:09 left to play.
That would be Dallas' lone goal of the final period, despite owning a 17-2 advantage in shots over the final 20 minutes. Theodore closed out his outstanding night by stopping Steve Ott from close range in the waning seconds.
Montreal snapped an eight-game winless streak to the Stars, dating back to March 4, 1998. The Canadiens had five losses and three ties over that span...Carbonneau was a former captain for the Habs during his lengthy playing career...Bulis extended his consecutive points streak to seven games...Koivu's assist was the 300th of his career...Montreal ended 3-of-7 on the power play, while the Stars failed to convert five chances with the extra skater...Dallas was attempting to match a franchise record for consecutive wins.
01/17 00:14:35 ET