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Stars-Canadiens Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars

Saturday December 6, 2014
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (9-12-5) lost 5-2 at Detroit Thursday, extending their winless streak to four games (0-3-1) and concluding a 0-3-0 road trip. The Stars have allowed five goals in each of their last four games.

"We're not going to win giving up five goals a night. No team is," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

Saturday’s game kicks off a stretch that will see the Stars play three games – all of them at home – over the next 11 days.

“These are big games,” said Stars defenseman Jason Demers. “We need to win these three. We’ve got to win at home. We didn’t have a good road stretch. We need to make up for it at home.”

The Stars enter Saturday’s game nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Canadiens

The Canadiens (17-9-2) played Friday night in Chicago, losing 4-3 to the Blackhawks. Montreal rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead into the third period, but Chicago scored twice in the final frame to win the game. Brandon Saad scored the game-winner with 27 seconds remaining. The loss was the fifth in the past six games for Montreal (1-4-1).

“I thought our effort was better. I thought we competed against a real good hockey team,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “At times you need a break to win a hockey game and we didn’t have the break tonight.”

Forward Lars Eller left Friday’s contest in the first period with an upper body injury. As a result, Montreal recalled forward Sven Andrighetto from Hamilton of the AHL.

Saturday’s game concludes a four-game road trip for the Canadiens, who are 1-2-0 in the first three games.

Injuries: C Lars Eller (upper body) is questionable. LW Michael Bournival (shoulder) is out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars were 0-2-0 (0 points) vs. Montreal last season.

*The Canadiens were 2-0-0 (4 points) vs. the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 32-72-21 all-time vs. Montreal.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-5-5 at home but are 3-0-1 in their last four at the AAC.

*The Canadiens are 8-6-1 on the road.

*The Stars are 3-4-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Montreal is 6-5-1 vs. the Western Conference including 5-3-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Canadiens are 3-1-1 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.

*Montreal has been outscored 25-9 in first periods this season. The nine goals scored are tied with Buffalo for fewest in the league.

*The Stars have been outscored 37-19 in third periods. The 37 goals against are most in the NHL.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin leads the NHL with 19 goals. He is tied for third in the league with 32 points.

* Max Pacioretty leads the Canadiens in goals (12) and points (20).

*Montreal defenseman Sergei Gonchar scored his first goal of the season in Friday’s game. Gonchar has three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-three rating in 11 games since being acquired from Dallas for forward Travis Moen.

*Moen has no points and a minus-two ratings in nine games with the Stars.

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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