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Stars-Canadiens Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tuesday, March 8

6:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (40-20-7) defeated the Senators, 2-1, in Ottawa Sunday evening. Antoine Roussel scored with 2:14 remaining in regulation to snap a 1-1 tie and lift the Stars to their second straight victory.

“We’ve played a lot better games and lost. To end up fighting through it and finding a way to win it, it’s an important two points,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

The Stars kept pace with Chicago, who also won Sunday. The two teams are tied at 87 points, but the Blackhawks are in first place in the Central Division and Western Conference based on the first tiebreaker (regulation/overtime wins). St. Louis is two points behind the Blackhawks and Stars with 85 points.

Stars defenseman Kris Russell had a maintenance day Monday but is expected to play.

Defenseman John Klingberg, who did not play Sunday due to a lower-body injury, remains day to day.

Forward Patrick Eaves, who has not played since Feb. 20 because of illness, will be available to play Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game wraps up a two-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: D John Klingberg (lower body), RW Patrick Sharp (lower body) and D Jordie Benn (lower body) are out.

The Canadiens (30-30-6) lost 4-2 at Winnipeg Saturday to wrap up a four-game road trip that saw them pick up just one point (0-3-1).

“It has been a tough road trip for us," Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban said. “I felt we had an opportunity to get two points. I felt we came in with the right energy, the right mentality, the right attitude. We played hard the whole road trip. We gave ourselves opportunities to win all of those games.”

Montreal fell to 1-8-1 in its past ten road games and 3-6-2 in its past eleven games overall.

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher left Saturday’s game in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game.

Forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller did not practice Monday. Both are questionable for Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game begins a four-game homestand for Montreal.

Injuries: C Alex Galchenyuk (upper body) and C Lars Eller (lower body) are questionable. RW Brendan Gallagher (lower body) is out. G Carey Price (leg), LW Daniel Carr (lower body), D Jeff Petry (sports hernia), C Brian Flynn (lower body), C David Desharnais (broken foot), D Tom Gilbert (knee) and D Nathan Beaulieu (lower body) are on injured reserve.

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

*The Stars won the first meeting, 6-2, in Dallas on Dec. 19.

*The Stars have lost four of their past five games in Montreal.

*The Stars are 18-9-2 vs. the Eastern Conference including 8-5-1 against the Atlantic Division.

*The Canadiens are 5-16-3 vs. the Western Conference including 2-8-2 against the Central Division.

*The Stars are 9-6-2 since the All-Star break.

*The Canadiens are 6-8-2 since the break.

*Montreal is 13-26-4 since goaltender Carey Price went out with a leg injury.

*Montreal is 0-14 on the power play over the past five games.

*Montreal is 22-23 on the penalty kill over the past eight games.

*Stars center Jason Spezza has scored a goal in three straight games and has six goals in the past seven games.

*Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk has scored seven goals in the past six games.

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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