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Thursday, January 14th (All times eastern)

Dallas Stars (19-16-11) at Montreal Canadiens (22-21-4), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams will meet for an interconference battle tonight in Montreal, as the Canadiens welcome the Dallas Stars to Bell Centre.

The Stars have just one victory since the calendar turned to 2010, losing five of their last six games. Meanwhile, Montreal has lost three of its last four contests after closing 2009 with victories in six out of seven games.

Tonight marks Dallas' first trip to Quebec since the Canadiens notched a win over the Stars on January 16, 2006. The clubs have split two meetings in Dallas since then with Montreal winning the most recent matchup on March 8 of last season.

Since posting a home win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Dallas has dropped consecutive road games in Columbus and Philadelphia. The Stars were blanked 2-0 by the Blue Jackets and dealt a 6-3 setback by the Flyers.

The Flyers used a four-goal second period to bring down Dallas, which trailed 6-1 before scoring twice in the latter stages of the third period. Steve Ott tallied twice and James Neal once for the Stars.

"With every effort like tonight, we're putting ourselves deeper in the hole," Stars forward Brenden Morrow said. "We have to dig in and muster up some confidence and win some games."

Marty Turco was tagged in the loss for five goals on 19 shots. Alex Auld finished the game by making eight saves.

Dallas is just 7-11-6 as the guest this year and is wrapping a three-game road trip tonight. The Stars have lost eight straight and 11 of their last 12 road contests.

The Canadiens are in action for the first time since Saturday, when they earned a point in an overtime loss against visiting New Jersey. Zach Parise scored 2:38 into overtime, lifting the Devils to the 2-1 win.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots in the losing effort and Scott Gomez had the lone goal for Montreal.

"They're a top team," Montreal forward Mike Cammalleri said. "We thought we played better. Unfortunately we lose the game in overtime. I liked our level of focus. Both goalies made a lot of good saves. (New Jersey goaltender) Marty (Brodeur) made too many on me for my liking."

The Habs, who are 10-10-3 as the host this year, are playing the third portion of a four-game homestand tonight. They'll complete the residency Saturday against Ottawa.

Tonight was supposed to be a homecoming for Dallas forward Mike Ribeiro, a Montreal native and former member of the Canadiens. However, Ribeiro suffered a throat contusion last week in a game against the New York Rangers and is expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks.

Ribeiro was drafted by Montreal in 1998 and remained in the Habs organization until he was traded to the Stars just prior to the 2006-07 campaign. After showing glimpses of promise with the Canadiens, the centerman has gone on to be a top offensive weapon for the Stars. Ribeiro recorded 83 points in 2007-08 and had 78 points last year. He has 10 goals and 23 assists in 43 games this season.

If not for the injury, tonight would've been Ribeiro's first game in Montreal since the trade. He has faced the Canadiens twice since then, but both games were in Dallas.

01/14 10:41:58 ET


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