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Seguin scores twice to lead Stars past Canadiens

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- Tyler Seguin has had plenty of success against the Montreal Canadiens in his career.

He delivered another strong performance against them at American Airlines Center on Saturday, leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win with two goals and an assist.

In his past eight games against the Canadiens, Seguin has six goals and seven assists. He has 14 goals in his past 14 games and leads the NHL with 21 goals.

"I've been the benefactor of the good plays we've been making," Seguin said. "I've been shooting the puck more than I have in the past instead of always trying to make that pretty play."

The win ended the Stars' four-game losing streak (0-3-1). Dallas allowed five goals in each loss.

"That was our team out there tonight," said Stars captain Jamie Benn, who had two assists. "I thought we did a great job right from the start."

Seguin became the League's first 20-goal scorer early in the second period during a 5-on-3 power play. He scored his second of the night late in the second, beating Montreal goaltender Carey Price with a wrist shot from the right circle with the teams playing at 4-on-4.

Kari Lehtonen made 16 saves for Dallas (10-12-5), which got an empty-net goal from Ryan Garbutt with 1:04 remaining.

"That's the way we need to play -- a lot of smart decisions, real good puck management. You can win a lot of games playing like that," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

Montreal rookie forward Sven Andrighetto scored his first career goal in his NHL debut early in the third period.

The Canadiens have lost three in a row and six of seven (1-5-1).

"Yeah, we took two bad penalties (early)," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "Took all the momentum away and we knew that in that situation we were facing tonight in playing a lot of hockey lately. Came to Dallas really late and we had to play a perfect road game and certainly the undisciplined play hurt us tonight."

The Stars took the lead 11:23 into the first period when Cody Eakin scored a power-play goal. Eakin's sixth goal came after Seguin sent the puck toward the goal from the left circle. The puck deflected off several sticks in front of Price before going to Eakin, who was near the far post. Eakin whacked the puck out of the air past Price six seconds into the man advantage.

"They had a lot of jump to start the game," said Price, who made 25 saves. "Obviously, we didn't get off to the start we wanted to. They came at us with everything they had, especially in that first period."

Montreal (17-10-2) had a chance to tie it at 14:37 of the first when Manny Malhotra had a shorthanded breakaway, but Lehtonen made the save. Malhotra's was the first shot Lehtonen faced.

The Canadiens finished with 17 shots, illustrating how much they struggled to generate chances.

"We wanted to generate more offense obviously. I don't think we generated enough opportunities in front," defenseman P.K. Subban said. "We got to get the puck to the net. We got to create traffic. We got to get in on our forecheck. We got to make it tough on the defense. We got to make it tougher on the other team. We're making it too easy for them to come out of their zone right now and into the neutral zone."

The Stars began their third power play 1:32 into the second when Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty inadvertently shot the puck over the boards near the Stars bench, earning a delay of game penalty. They gained a two-man advantage at 2:19 when Montreal forward Tomas Plekanec was called for interference against Seguin.

Dallas converted 50 seconds into the 5-on-3 advantage when Benn made a cross-ice pass to Seguin, who beat Price to his short side at 3:09 of the second to put the Stars ahead 2-0.

"That's how we're going to do it these days," Benn said of his pass to Seguin. "He's pretty hot right now. He made a great shot."

Lehtonen made two big stops in the second, one on a wrist shot by Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov at 6:46 and another on a Pacioretty shot at close range with two minutes left.

Seguin scored his 21st goal after Benn won a faceoff against Montreal's David Desharnais in the right circle. He connected on a wrist shot that Price initially appeared to stop, but the puck crossed the line with eight seconds left in the second period.

The teams were playing 4-on-4 after Alexei Emelin (cross-checking) and Garbutt (embellishment) earned matching minors at 19:49.

Garbutt drew four Canadiens penalties Saturday, two days after Ruff benched him in a 5-2 loss at the Detroit Red Wings after he committed a bad penalty in the first period.

"I've dealt with this my whole career. It's just the way that I play," Garbutt said. "It's nice to help the team win and not do something that doesn't help the team win."

Andrighetto, who was recalled from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on Friday, scored on a backhand shot 2:21 into the third to get Montreal on the board.

Andrighetto started the sequence by collecting a lazy pass from Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski near the left circle. He laid the puck off to Plekanec, who returned the puck to the rookie with a backhand pass. Andrighetto skated into the Dallas paint and beat Lehtonen to the far post.

"I was a little nervous at the beginning, and it took me a little while to put that away and just play my game. I think I did in the last period really well," Andrighetto said.

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