Recap: Canadiens Power Past Stars

The Montreal Canadiens, weary after playing their fourth consecutive overtime game Tuesday night in Nashville, struggled to beat the Dallas Stars Wednesday. Fortunately for the Habs, the Stars were willing to help.

“I thought we beat ourselves,” said Dallas coach Lindy Ruff. According to Ruff, two mistakes in particular cost his team the game: Stephen Johns’ third-period delay of game penalty right after Montreal scored to tie the game, and Tyler Seguin failing to cover his man (Max Pacioretty) in overtime.

The coach added, “When we’re making mistakes like that it’s just handing them a point and that’s hard because we need points right now. That’s detail, that’s mental and attention to detail.”

The visiting Canadiens were understandably thrilled with the win. Pacioretty said after the game, “I felt so proud of everybody…Everybody had the right attitude and even though we let up that goal [Lindell’s late game-tying goal], no one was cheating and it says a lot about our team and I think we got rewarded with the two points.”

Dallas finished its eight-game homestand 4-2-2 and will now play six of their next eight on the road. Montreal improves to 3-1-2 on their seven-game road trip, which concludes Saturday in Toronto.

First Period

The Stars and Canadiens got off to a rather herky-jerky start, with three whistles in the first minute. The interruptions worked to the home team’s advantage, as the stoppages served as “speed bumps” to slow the Montreal attack.

The visitors struck first, converting a turnover in Dallas’s defensive zone into a Nathan Beaulieu goal halfway through the period.

Montreal’s “boost” from the goal proved short-lived, as Dallas quickly counterattacked. Just a couple of minutes after the score, Jordie Benn nearly tied the game with a shot that trickled through goalie Al Montoya and stopped on the goal line. Shortly thereafter, Antoine Roussel came screaming in on a breakaway, but shot the puck over the net.

Near the 15-minute mark, Seguin redirected a high point shot from Johns to knot the game at one.

Following Seguin’s score, the Stars ramped up the pressure on the Montreal net. A Patrick Sharp shot, described by Dallas play-by-play maestro Darryl “Razor” Reaugh as a “harmless marshmallow,” hit Montoya up high and nearly slipped over him and in.

Sharp delivered another hit in the final minute of the period, this one on Montreal wing Paul Byron. Teammate Torrey Mitchell rushed to defend his comrade and the gloves came off, earning Sharp and Mitchell each five for fighting.

Second Period

Jason Spezza was whistled for hooking with 1.2 seconds remaining in the first period, so Montreal began the second with the man-advantage. Beaulieu rang a shot off the crossbar on the Habs’ best chance of the power play.

The penalty killed, Dallas took over the game, moving the puck with alacrity and generating shot after shot. Only Montoya and luck kept the Stars from scoring. When the home team was awarded its first power play of the game with 7:44 remaining, the visitors’ luck ran out.

Soon after John Klingberg’s goal gave Dallas the lead, Montreal was penalized again, a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct this time. The Stars couldn’t convert, however, and the score would remain 2-1 as the period ended. Dallas led 31-21 in shots after two.


Third Period

Early in the third period, Montreal was awarded two power plays just 1:34 apart. In a span of 1:15, they scored twice, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Alexander Radulov scored on the first power play…

…followed by Pacioretty.

Shortly before the go-ahead goal, right wing Brendan Gallagher headed directly to the bench after taking a Shea Weber slapshot to the hand and did not return.

After allowing two quick goals, the home team seemed rattled. On the other side of the ice, the Canadiens, energized by the goals, clogged up the neutral zone and slowed the Stars’ attack.

With just under three minutes remaining, Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the slot that blew past the screened Montreal goalie, tying the game and forcing overtime.


Nineteen seconds was all it took to decide the game. After the Stars lost possession of the puck in the Montreal zone, Tyler Seguin made a critical error: By turning toward the puck instead of toward center ice, Seguin set Pacioretty free in the neutral zone. When Jeff Petry’s outlet pass found the captain’s stick, he was gone and the game was over.

It was the Montreal captain’s second overtime goal in as many nights.

Scoring Summary


MTL – Nathan Beaulieu (2) assisted by Phillip Danault (10)

DAL – Tyler Seguin (14) assisted by Stephen Johns (4) and Patrick Sharp (2)


DAL – John Klingberg (4) (PPG) assisted by Cody Eakin (2) and Jason Spezza (16)


MTL – Alexander Radulov (9) (PPG) assisted by Nathan Beaulieu (10) and Shea Weber (13)

MTL – Max Pacioretty (17) (PPG) assisted by Nathan Beaulieu (11) and Shea Weber (14)

DAL – Esa Lindell (4) assisted by John Klingberg (16)


MTL – Max Pacioretty (18) assisted by Jeff Petry (11) and Phillip Danault (11)

THW Three Stars

First: Max Pacioretty (2 goals)

Second: Nathan Beaulieu (1 goal, 2 assists)

Third: Esa Lindell (1 goal)


Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues

Scottrade Center  7:00 p.m. CST on Saturday, Jan. 7

Broadcast channels: FS-SW+, FS-MW

2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 3 – Stars 6, Blues 2

Nov. 28 – Blues 4, Stars 3 (OT)

Dec. 20 – Blues 3, Stars 2 (OT)

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs

Air Canada Center  7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, Jan. 7

Broadcast channels: NHLN-US, CBC, TVAS

2016-17 Season Series: Oct. 29 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1

Nov. 19 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1