Just hours after a close contest and thrilling overtime in Nashville, the Canadiens are on the road again for their second game in as many nights - this time in Dallas where they’ll take on a middling Stars squad.
It hasn’t been an easy road trip thus far for the Habs, who have competed in a slew of incredibly tight games as of late, including four consecutive games decided after regulation.
Unfortunately for the Habs, the Stars will be the much better-rested team this evening as they’ve had three days off since their last game on New Year’s Eve. Then again, back-to-backs haven’t exactly spelled doom for the Canadiens this season as they have won the second game on five of six occasions.
How to watch
Puck drop: 8:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM PST
In Canada: SN360, SNE, SNO (English), RDS (French)
In the United States: FS-SW
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Gamecenter Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|53.63||Score-Adjusted Corsi %||49.40|
|1.52||5v5 Goal Ratio||0.96|
Expectations were high in Dallas coming into the season, and while the Stars are still very much part of the playoff race, things haven’t gone quite according to plan after finishing atop the Western Conference last year.
Recent games have seen captain Jamie Benn find his touch once again, which has certainly been of benefit to the Stars. Tonight, though, they’ll need to do without him as he sits out due to a foot injury.
The Stars will still feature Tyler Seguin, of course, who has been as good as ever this season. Leading his team with 38 points in as many games, Seguin has been the catalyst for a Stars offense that has been surprisingly weak.
Part of the Stars’ offensive struggle has undoubtedly been the absence of Patrick Sharp, who returned to action this past Saturday. Sidelined twice this season with concussions, Sharp has very clearly not been himself. In the 12 games he has played he has put up just 2 points, a far-cry from his historical production.
Unsurprisingly, the Stars have had difficulty with their goaltending once again as the duo of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi has been less than stellar. More of a problem, perhaps, has been their penalty kill; the Stars shorthanded unit is among the worst in the NHL with the fourth-most power play goals allowed, and the Habs could benefit greatly if they’re able to draw penalties tonight.
This will be the first meeting of the 2016-17 season between these teams, and it will be an important one for both. The Stars have no room for error in a tight wildcard race, while the Habs have an opportunity to string together a pair of wins for the first time in two weeks as their road trip begins to wind down.