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Preview: Canadiens at Stars

Dallas captain Jamie Benn to miss first game with injury since March 2013; goaltender Al Montoya will start for Montreal

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

CANADIENS (23-9-6) AT STARS (16-15-7)

8 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE, SNO, FS-SW, RDS, NHL.TV 

 

Canadiens team scope

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Al Montoya is expected to start Wednesday after Carey Price played in a 2-1 overtime victory at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Montoya, who signed a two-year contract with the Canadiens on Monday, last played on Dec. 29 against the Florida Panthers and made 31 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory. Forward Alexander Radulov has five points (two goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak, including two assists against the Predators. "Radulov is doing a hell of a job for us this year and has been a true leader, and it was a special night for him too," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said, referring to Radulov playing at Nashville, where he spent parts of the first three seasons of his NHL career. Defenseman Shea Weber played at Nashville on Tuesday for the first time since being traded to Montreal for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29, 2016. Weber scored the tying goal before captain Max Pacioretty scored the winning goal in overtime.

 

Stars team scope

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn will miss his first game because of an injury since March 2013. Benn injured his foot in a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday and hasn't practiced this week. Left wing Antoine Roussel, who has missed four games with an upper-body injury, is a game-time decision and will skate in warmups. "It's really just up to him," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He's got the type of thing where he'll know if he can play or not. Totally out of my hands." If Roussel comes off injured reserve, the Stars will have to make another roster move, potentially putting Benn on injured reserve and making him unavailable at the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen will start and make his fourth consecutive appearance. He stopped all 18 shots in relief of Antti Niemi against the Panthers. 

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Paul Byron -- Torrey Mitchell -- Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brian Flynn

Daniel Carr -- Michael McCarron -- Chris Terry

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jeff Petry

Mark Barberio -- Ryan Johnston

Al Montoya

Carey Price

Scratched: Bobby Farnham, Zach Redmond

Injured: David Desharnais (knee), Alex Galchenyuk (knee), Andrei Markov (lower body), Greg Pateryn (ankle), Andrew Shaw (concussion)

 

Stars projected lineup

Patrick Sharp -- Jason Spezza -- Tyler Seguin

Curtis McKenzie -- Radek Faksa -- Brett Ritchie

Jiri Hudler -- Cody Eakin -- Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel -- Devin Shore -- Lauri Korpikoski 

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya -- Jordie Benn

Dan Hamhuis -- Stephen Johns

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Patrik Nemeth, Adam Cracknell, Jamie Oleksiak

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jamie Benn (foot)

 

Status report

Johns will return to the Stars lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past four games. "We've had good meetings and part of it is just being a self-evaluator when it comes to how you played and where your name needs to get to," Ruff said. "I think we can utilize his puck moving ability." … Dallas held an optional morning skate, and the Canadiens did not skate.

 

Who's hot

Pacioretty has 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in his past 14 games. … Seguin has six points (three goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak. … Spezza has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games.

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