Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens

MTL@DAL: About Saturday night...

To say that the Canadiens were disappointed with their performance in Dallas would be an understatement

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

DALLAS - Here are a few key storylines from Saturday night's 4-1 loss to the Stars at the American Airlines Center.

No speed, no success

When the Canadiens are playing good hockey, their speed and quickness are typically on display from start to finish.

That wasn't the case in the Lone Star State as Claude Julien's squad couldn't generate much of anything in the way of quality scoring chances on Stars goaltender Ben Bishop.

Why was that the case? Julien didn't mince words when dishing on where he believes things went wrong.

"I think the real explanation is we didn't have our legs. I didn't think we had the energy tonight. There was no fight in the dog. We lost a lot of battles. Right from the get go, we had a couple of good shifts here and there, but overall we looked like a tired team tonight," mentioned Julien, after watching his club's three-game winning streak come to an end. "You've got some nights where no matter what you can't seem to find your legs. Our game is based on that. Our game is based on our speed, our execution and how fast we play, and we didn't even get close to that."

Video: MTL Recap: Lehkonen scores lone goal in 4-1 loss

The veteran bench boss went so far as to label Saturday night's encounter as "probably our most difficult game of the season so far," which gives you a good indication of how problematic the Stars proved to be.

Credit Dallas for playing a strong game, though. Defenseman Ben Chiarot gave their Western Conference opponents the proverbial tip of the cap for essentially dominating them in every aspect of the contest.

"They were the better team tonight in all facets of the game," insisted Chiarot. "Right through the whole game, they were on it, they were quick, stronger on the puck, stronger on battles. They were just a sharper team. That's all it was. It wasn't starts or finishes, it was right from the puck drop right until the end. They were better."

Video: Ben Chiarot on the Stars' dominance in Dallas

The fact that the Habs' special teams units failed to deliver the goods didn't help their cause either. Not only did Julien's troops surrender a pair of power play goals to Alexander Radulov and Denis Gurianov, but they also went 0-for-5 on the man advantage themselves.

That, of course, is never a recipe for success.

Chiarot went on to add that perhaps a day off in Dallas on Friday might've been a disadvantage of sorts.

"They were playing a back-to-back. We were sitting around. Sometimes that can work against you almost," suggested Chiarot. "When you play a back-to-back, your body stays moving, you stay in the flow of a game. I thought they showed that tonight. They were quicker on pucks, they were sharper, and we were flat."

Four more points in the bank

While Saturday night's game didn't go as planned, the Canadiens are still coming home with four out of possible six points from a rather demanding road trip.

That's nothing to be ashamed of.

"It was a great, great trip for us. Four out of six points on the road, winning the back-to-back, going into a tough building in Vegas, I think that bodes well for us in the future and shows us that we can do it," said Chiarot. "It's the sign of a good team when they can do that, go into tough buildings like that on back-to-backs and win against a team that was rested [in the Golden Knights]. We'll take that and move forward and go home."

Video: Domi scores winner as Canadiens rally for OT victory

It marked just the second time so far this season that the Habs had dropped a road game in regulation time. 

They'll get to enjoy some serious home cooking for the rest of November, however.

Of the 12 games remaining between now and the end of the month, nine will be played in the friendly confines of the Bell Centre.

Price just keeps on delivering

Carey Price certainly gave the Canadien a chance in Dallas.

The 32-year-old goaltender made 36 saves on Saturday night, including a few beauties.

Video: MTL@DAL: Price denies multiple scoring opportunities

It was Price's second-highest save total of the year. He made 40 stops on opening night in Carolina on October 3.

View More