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Stars-Canadiens Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday October 29
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Dallas Stars (5-5-1) defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, Monday night in head coach Lindy Ruff’s return to Buffalo, where he coached for 15 seasons. The Stars built a 4-1 lead in the game, but then had to hang on as the Sabres made a contest of it.

"It's kind of a huge relief,” Ruff said. “I said it felt really strange coming back and I thought we came out really good. We made a couple mistakes and they clawed their way back."

Monday’s win snapped a four game road losing streak for the Stars and gave them points in three straight games overall (2-0-1).

Dallas’ top line of Jamie Benn (one goal), Tyler Seguin (one goal, one assist) and Erik Cole (two assists) had a big night for the Stars, who also got a goal from fourth line center Vernon Fiddler and a power play goal from defenseman Alex Goligoski. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 of 25 shots.

The 25 shots against were a season-low for the Stars.

There’s no word on who will start in goal Tuesday for the Stars.

Injuries: F Ryan Garbutt is out due to suspension.

About the Canadiens

The Canadiens (7-5-0) are coming off a 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Monday night. Peter Budaj stopped 27 shots for the shutout and Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk scored goal for Montreal, which was coming off a disappointing homestand where they lost three of five games.

“It was great to see the guys bounce back,” said Budaj, who was making his second start of the season. “They did the little things right. It was a great team victory.”

While Budaj had 27 saves in the game, his teammates chipped in with 28 blocked shots.

“It does help you tremendously when the team in front of you plays so well, block shots and sacrifices the body for you and the team,” said Budaj.

The Canadiens’ goals against average dropped to 1.83, which is fourth best in the league.

Carey Price is expected to be in goal for Montreal Tuesday against the Stars.

Injuries: RW Daniel Briere (concussion), D Davis Drewiske (shoulder), LW Travis Moen (face), LW Max Pacioretty (hamstring) and LW Brandon Prust (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Canadiens.

*The two teams did not meet last season.

*The Stars and Canadiens last met Feb. 21, 2012 in Montreal. The Stars won 3-0.

*The Stars are 32-70-21 all-time against Montreal.

Statistical tidbits

*The Canadiens have lost three of their last four at home, and are 3-4-0 at Bell Centre this season.

*The Stars are 2-4-0 on the road this season.

*Eight of Montreal’s 12 games this season have come against the Western Conference. They are 4-4-0 in those games.

*The Stars are 2-1-0 against the Eastern Conference.

*Montreal ranks in the top ten in both power play (24.0 percent) and penalty killing (84.0 percent).

*The Stars rank 23rd in power play (15.0 percent) and 20th in penalty killing (79.5 percent).

*The Stars rank seventh in the league in faceoff percentage (52.7 percent). Montreal is 12th at 51.4 percent.

*Tyler Seguin and Alex Chiasson lead the Stars with 5 goals.

*Seguin and Jamie Benn lead the Stars in points with 12.

* Tomas Plekanec has 3 goals in the last 4 games for Montreal and leads the Canadiens with 6 goals.

*P.K. Subban leads Montreal with 11 points.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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