Canadiens look to reverse recent trend vs. Stars
Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 11:50 AM
NHL.comCANADIENS (19-12-2) at STARS (20-10-3)
TV: RDS (HD), TSN-HABS (HD), FS-SW (HD)
Montreal 5-4-1; Dallas 6-2-2
Season series --
This is the only meeting of the season between the Canadiens and Stars. Montreal beat Dallas at Bell Centre last season, 5-3.
Big Story --
Dallas could potentially take over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with a win Tuesday night. The Canadiens could be out of first place by the time they go to bed Monday. For the time being these teams are headed in opposite directions. Dallas has won two in a row, three of four and 10 of its last 14 games. The Habs have lost four of their last five games.
Montreal is one game into its season-high seven-game road trip, which will take them until the end of the calendar year. The Habs lost in Denver, 3-2, on Sunday night, blowing a pair of one-goal leads. Benoit Pouliot, who was a minus-2 against the Avalanche, skated as the extra forward in Monday's practice and could be a healthy scratch Tuesday night. Pouliot has played in all 33 games this season and has 17 points, but he's a minus-6 over the last four games. Habs forward Michael Cammalleri has points in seven straight games (5-3-8), but he's hardly happy.
"The anger and frustration lies in the fact that this group of guys expects to win hockey games," Cammalleri said after Sunday's loss.
Dallas has won back to back games this past weekend with strong third periods. Brenden Morrow
scored the tying goal with 3:14 left in regulation Sunday against Detroit and then Loui Eriksson
won it for the Stars in overtime. Brad Richards
broke a 1-1 tie 6:17 into the third period and the Stars went on to beat the Blue Jackets by that 2-1 margin. The Stars were down 2-0 just 12:25 into Sunday's game, but still managed to come back and pick up the two points against the Western Conference leaders.
"It does say a lot about our team," Morrow told the Dallas Morning News. "Being down, fighting hard, we've just found ways the last three weeks or so to stay in games. This one could have been easy to let get away from us."
Who's Hot --
Morrow, who is playing with a full facemask covering his broken nose, scored twice against the Wings and has 3 goals in the last three games. Richards scored twice against the Blue Jackets and again against the Red Wings to give him 3 goals in two games.
Injury Report --
Andrei Markov, who is on injured reserve, is the only Montreal player that should miss the game with an injury. Dallas appears to be healthy.
Stat Pack --
Dallas leads the NHL in one-goal wins with 14. Eleven of its last 12 wins have been by a single goal. The Stars have outscored their opponents by only six goals (38-32) in the last 14 games, but are 10-2-2 over the stretch because they've won nine of the games by one goal. They have a 13-7 advantage in the third period over the last 14 games. Their PK is 44 for its last 50 and they've connected on the power play in five straight games. … Entering Monday the Canadiens continued to have the League's No. 1 PK unit (87.8 percent), but they did allow a power-play goal to Colorado on Sunday.
Puck Drop --
Morrow had surgery last Wednesday to repair a broken nose he suffered against San Jose last Monday. He hasn't missed a game and barely missed a shift.
"There's no two ways about it. He's uncomfortable, we're uncomfortable for him just watching him, but that's leadership," Stars coach Marc Crawford told the team's website. "He's going out and leading by example, and that really spirits on everyone else. You can't help but be somewhat motivated when you see your captain come out and play the way that he does."