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Price's 40 saves help Canadiens hold off Stars

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price played in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, which warmed him up for his first game after the break.

Price made 40 saves Tuesday, and Alex Galchenyuk scored for a third game in a row to give Montreal a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars at Bell Centre.

Price wasn't the least bit fazed by his workload. Playing for Team Foligno in Columbus, he faced 16 shots and allowed four goals in the first period of a 17-12 loss to Team Toews that set a record for goals in an All-Star Game.

"You know, I just take it, it's a cliche, just one shot at a time, just worry about the next one that's coming at me and just try and keep it simple," Price said.

The Canadiens (30-13-3) have won three straight games.

"[Price] was what I guess we've come to expect; he was unreal," said Brendan Gallagher, whose first power-play goal of the season put Montreal ahead 3-1 in the second period. "Save after save, and there were a lot of times where it looked like they had pretty open nets and they were getting some pretty good chances, and he was there to bail us out. I know it was the first game back from a long break but I think we need to clean up a lot of stuff around the net.

"We gave up too many prime scoring chances, and against a lot of guys like that we can't rely on [Price] that much, but we had him [Tuesday], we're pretty fortunate, and we found a way to score one more goal in the end and we came away with two points."

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was asked if he was concerned that his team relies too much on Price to win.

"We are very aware that we have a very good goalie, and we're very happy that he plays for us," Therrien said.

Alexei Emelin scored Montreal's first goal at 6:07 of the first period. Emelin was ejected from the game at 5:21 of the second after he was assessed a boarding major and a game misconduct for his hit from behind on Dallas center Jason Spezza.

"It happened very fast," Therrien said. "[Spezza] changed direction and [Emelin] pushed him, and when he pushed him, Spezza changed directions. Yes, it was the right call under the circumstances, but I don't expect a suspension."

Galchenyuk gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead with his 13th goal 9:53 into the first period.

Stars captain Jamie Benn scored with 2.1 seconds remaining in the first to draw Dallas within 2-1 after Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban was called for an intentional offside.

Lehtonen was pulled for an extra attacker for the faceoff in the Canadiens zone with 2.7 seconds remaining. Montreal center Manny Malhotra and Dallas center Tyler Seguin were thrown out of the first faceoff attempt. The scoreboard clock was reset from 1.3 seconds to 2.7, and Spezza won the draw against Gallagher and got the puck to Benn, who snapped a shot past Price.

"They made a good play there," Price said. "They got two cracks at it, both the first and second, and [Benn] made a great shot."

Therrien said he argued the offside ruling and bristled at being asked about his decision to have only one center, Malhotra, on the ice for the faceoff along with right wing Gallagher and left wing Michael Bournival.

"Second-guessing is the easiest thing to do in the world," Therrien said. "We went with Manny, he's the best faceoff guy in the League, and we wanted to make sure we have two guys who will sacrifice their body to block the shot, and in the meantime we have a guy like Gallagher who is taking faceoffs on his strong side."

Gallagher restored the Canadiens' two-goal lead with Montreal's eighth power-play goal in four games at 4:37 of the second period.

Patrick Eaves scored, and Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves for Dallas (21-19-7), which lost 3-1 at the Boston Bruins a week ago in its last game before the All-Star break.

"It's tough," Lehtonen said. "The last two games have gone the same way, the other goalie has stolen the show, and it's frustrating, but it's easy always to tell yourself that we're playing better, we should have won these two, but when you don't, it's tough. I have to do a better job and our guys have to score when they have that many opportunities. It's as simple as that, I have to be a better goalie than the other goalie, then we have a better chance to win."

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he thought Price was fabulous.

"I thought as a team we really skated well," Ruff said. "I don't know if we maybe had more than three or four even-strength shifts that we spend any time in our end, anything more than five or 10 seconds, and in this building that's pretty good."

Spezza went to the dressing room after the hit by Emelin left him bleeding from his face, which struck the end boards behind the Montreal net. Spezza returned and finished the game wearing a longer visor.

Eaves, who returned after missing 21 games because of a lower-body injury, scored with 16 seconds remaining in Emelin's major to draw Dallas within one for the second time at 10:05.

Former Ottawa Senators captain Spezza will play his first game at Ottawa on Thursday since he was traded to Dallas on July 1.

The Canadiens play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

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