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Stars fall to Montreal in OT, lose Demers to injury

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The injuries continue to mount on the Dallas Stars blue line. The Stars lost defenseman Jason Demers in the second period of Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Montreal, and it appears Demers could be out long-term.

“Not good. Not good. Not good,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said when asked for an update on Demers. “It’s going to be a good period of time… I doubt if he’ll play the rest of this season.”

Demers was injured midway through the second period when he got tangled up with Montreal forward Lucas Lessio in the Dallas zone and went awkwardly into the boards.

The Stars are already without defensemen John Klingberg (lower body) and Jordie Benn (lower body). Ruff said neither Klingberg nor Benn appeared ready to return to action.

“Not ready yet. Not ready yet,” Ruff said of their status.

As for Tuesday’s game, Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk scored 1:59 into overtime to give the Canadiens a 4-3 victory over the Stars. Galchenyuk scored off a one-timer from the right circle not long after Stars defenseman Kris Russell broke his stick, leaving him limited defensively.

Cody Eakin, Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen, who was making his third straight start, stopped 24 of 28 shots.


       Jason Demers injured vs. MTL
       Ruff gives update on Demers' health status
       Benn not satisfied with tonight's outcome
       Razor's postgame snack

“Tough game on the road and I think it is good to get a point, but we’ve got to find a way to win that game,” said Spezza. “Whether it is in overtime or the couple chances we had in the third, that is a game we should be winning.”

By picking up a point in the game, the Stars (40-20-8) pulled one point ahead of Chicago in the race for the top spot in the Central Division and Western Conference. St. Louis is two points behind Chicago and three points behind the Stars.

The Canadiens snapped a four-game losing streak. Galchenyuk tallied two goals and one assist, and Max Pacioretty had one goal and one assist.

“Our whole team had some fun tonight,” said Pacioretty. “We are a hard-working group. Alex is working very, very hard and he is getting rewarded. It is very nice to see.”

The two teams traded goals in the first. Eakin tipped in a Jason Demers centering pass from the corner at the 2:58 mark to put the Stars up 1-0. The Canadiens tied when Andrei Markov’s shot from the top of the right circle deflected off Pacioretty and past Lehtonen to make it 1-1 at the 14:20 mark.

Spezza scored on the power play 17 seconds into the second period, beating Montreal goaltender Ben Scrivens with a blast from the right circle to put the Stars up 2-1. But Montreal answered quickly to tie the game 2-2. Sven Andrighetto made a nice play to poke the puck to Alex Galchenyuk, who scored from close range at the 53-second mark. Phillip Danault scored off the rebound off the end boards to put the Canadiens up 3-2 at 3:37 of the second. But Hemsky pulled the Stars even with 1:00 left in the second, scoring on a wrap-around to send the game to the third period all tied up at 3-3.

And it stayed 3-3 until overtime, where Galchenyuk won it for Montreal.

*The Stars are 8-8 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 6-6 in three-on-three overtime and 2-2 in shootouts.

*Jason Spezza has scored seven goals in the past eight games.

*The Stars outshot Montreal 33-28 and had a 61-58 advantage in shot attempts.

*Jamie Benn led the Stars with 5 shots on goal. Tyler Seguin led the Stars with nine shot attempts.

*The Stars were 1-3 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill.

*Dallas won 34 of 64 faceoffs (53 percent).

*Cody Eakin won 14 of 18 faceoffs (78 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 8 of 14 (57 percent). Tyler Seguin won 6 of 15 (40 percent). Jason Spezza won 4 of 11 (36 percent).

*Alex Goligoski led the Stars with 29:15 of ice time. Kris Russell was next with 27:45.

The Stars return to Dallas for a five-game homestand starting with a back-to-back with Chicago and St. Louis this Friday and Saturday. The Stars also play Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Eaves

Mattias JanmarkJason SpezzaValeri Nichushkin

Antoine RousselCody EakinAles Hemsky

Radek FaksaVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Kris Russell
Alex Goligoski

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Patrik NemethJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

John Klingberg (lower body), Patrick Sharp (lower body), Jordie Benn (lower body)

Scratched: Brett Ritchie, Travis Moen

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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