Unfortunately, the Stars gave up a couple of bad goals and found problems getting the puck in the net themselves, ultimately giving the Red Wings their 2nd win of the season. The loss also put Dallas at 0-3-0 on the road this year, with just 3 goals for in that span and 10 goals against—11 if you include the empty netter on Sunday.
The road ahead – no pun intended – doesn’t get any easier. Tonight the Stars take on the Montreal Canadiens, who are coming off of a 3-0 win against the Boston Bruins. Sitting at 6-2-2, the Candiens are currently 3rd in the Atlantic, 8th in the NHL in points and 4th in terms of point percentage (.700%). That’s in large part thanks to an excellent defense [Carey Price] that has allowed an average of just 2.5 goals against, tied for 4th in the league.
If there’s a silver lining for Stars fans, it’s that Montreal’s special teams isn’t that strong. Both their Power Play (17.9%) and Penalty Kill (76.5%) rank 19th in the NHL. The Stars, by comparison, rank 6th in both categories, with a 28.6% on the PP and 85.7% on the PK. If Dallas can remain disciplined and makes good on any power play opportunities, then the Canadiens could be the cure to the Stars’ road woes. If not, they could be in for a long road trip.
Alexander Radulov returns to the lineup tonight to play against his old teams. He looks to be slotted on a line with Tyler Seguin and Justin Dowling. Jamie Benn has been separated from Seguin with the hope that a different change of pace could revitalize their scoring prowess.
Tyler Pitlick and Brett Ritchie are healthy scratches tonight, so expect the lineup to look something similar to this:
Justin Dowling – Tyler Seguin – Alexander Radulov
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Mattias Janmark
Gemel Smith – Radek Faksa – Blake Comeau
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Dickinson – Devin Shore
Connor Carrick will be out due to a swollen foot, which means the pairings should be as follows:
Esa Lindell – John Klingberg
Marc Methot – Miro Heiskanen
Julius Honka – Roman Polak
Ben Bishop was the first off the ice and is the projected starter
Here are forward lines from Montreal’s morning skate:
Thomas Tatar – Philip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin – Max Domi – Artturi Lehkonen
Paul Byron – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Joel Armia
Nicolas Deslauriers – Matthew Peca – Charles Hudon
Defenseman Noah Juulsen is still dealing with an upper body injury, so the defensive pairings should look the same as they did against Boston:
Jordie Benn – Jeff Petry
Karl Alzner – Mike Reilly
Victor Mete – Xavier Ouellet
Expect to see Carey Price in net tonight.