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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Stars

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

Canadiens (17-9-2) @ Stars (9-12-5)

The Canadiens' western American road trip comes to a close on Saturday with a stop in Dallas opposite the Stars.

Coming off a 4-3 loss in Chicago on Friday, the Habs will play their second game in as many nights on Saturday before returning home to Montreal. Despite firing 41 shots on goal the night prior, it was Chicago forward Brandon Saad who had the last word in the Windy City, scoring the game-winner with just 27 seconds left in regulation to hand the Canadiens' a second-straight road defeat.

Brendan Gallagher tallied a goal and an assist in the effort, while Sergei Gonchar and P.K. Subban registered their first and seventh goals of the season, respectively. Carey Price for his part turned aside 32 of 36 shots.

The Habs now turn their attention to a Stars team which has been slow to come out of the gate following a promising 2013-14 campaign and an offseason which saw the acquisitions of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.

Despite Tyler Seguin's 19 goals so far this year -- an NHL-best -- the Stars have had a tough time climbing the league standings, mired in 24th place overall and last in their division.

Defense has been an issue for Lindy Ruff's squad which has allowed a league-worst 3.58 goals per game, including five in each of their last four outings, while scoring just 11 over that same span.

Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Red Wings was the Stars' fourth in a row.

Kari Lethonen, who has registered a 9-6-5 record and 3.13 goals against average so far this season, should get the start in goal for the home team. Michel Therrien, meanwhile, has not yet confirmed his starting netminder, but the Habs' bench boss has turned to Dustin Tokarski in the second half of each back-to-back set so far this year.

Center Lars Eller left Friday's game in Chicago with an upper body injury, prompting the Habs to recall forward Sven Andrighetto from Hamilton. Andrighetto is currently the Bulldogs' top goalscorer and second-most proficient point-getter with nine goals and nine assists. The 21-year-old forward makes his NHL debut with the Canadiens on Saturday.

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