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Stars-Canadiens Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars

Thursday, January 2
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (20-12-7) ran their points streak to seven games (5-0-2) with a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center Tuesday night. The Stars have put the streak together primarily against teams holding down playoff spots in the Western Conference, beating Los Angeles twice, defeating both Vancouver and Colorado and gaining points in games against San Jose and St. Louis.

“I think we know our identity. That is to be good defensively and then use our team speed when we have a chance,” said Stars forward Rich Peverley. “If we play well and create turnovers, there are not a lot of teams in the league that can skate with us. We have four lines and six D that can all skate, and that’s really important.”

The Stars scored twice on the power play in Tuesday’s game, giving them three power play goals in their last two home games after scoring only two in the first 16 tilts at American Airlines Center.

The Stars are 2-0-1 on their current five-game homestand, which still has the Thursday game against Montreal and concludes Saturday with Detroit.

Injuries: F Ray Whitney (illness) is questionable. D Sergei Gonchar (concussion-like symptoms), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.

About the Canadiens

The Canadiens (23-14-4) are coming off a 5-4 loss at Carolina on Tuesday. Montreal had a 3-0 lead after two periods, but Carolina scored three goals – two on the power play – in a 2:29 span early in the third period to get back into the game.

"We were ready to play, but we lost discipline and momentum from our team," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "We have been disciplined most of the time, and this is the first time I have seen that. There were some calls that were hard to take."

Montreal was shorthanded ten times in the game, surrendering two power play goals.

The Canadiens are 2-2-1 on their current road trip, which concludes with Thursday’s game in Dallas.

Montreal forward Max Pacioretty was named to the U.S. Olympic Hockey team on Wednesday.

Injuries: D Davis Drewiske (shoulder) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the second of and final meeting between the Stars and Canadiens.

*The Canadiens won the first meeting, defeating the Stars, 2-1, in Montreal on Oct. 29.

*This will be Montreal’s first visit to Dallas since Dec. 21, 2010.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 23-13 during their current seven-game points streak.

*The Stars have allowed two goals or fewer in six of their last seven games.

*The Canadiens have scored one goal or fewer in seven of their last ten games.

*The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five games at home, and 6-1-3 over the last ten at American Airlines Center.

*Montreal is 7-3-2 in its last 12 road games.

*The Stars are 6-3-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*The Canadiens are 8-8-1 vs. the Western Conference.

*Stars forward Eric Cole has six goals in the last ten games.

*Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has six goals in the last eight games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (20) and points (39).

*Pacioretty leads Montreal with 17 goals. P.K. Subban leads Montreal in points with 29.

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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