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Canadiens vs. Stars game recap: More of the same

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The Habs lost again, giving up another pair of goals less than a minute apart to end the second — as is tradition, apparently.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of doom and gloom in Habs land lately, and the news didn’t get any better when it was announced that Shea Weber was out of last night’s game with a lower-body injury.

Charles Hudon had a good chance early on, and Charlie Lindgren made a few good saves, but Jordie Benn took a holding call in the defensive zone, and the Stars’ lethal power play went to work. The Habs’ penalty kill held Dallas to two shots.

Max Pacioretty was hit hard about half way through the first period, and was very slow to get up, but he stayed in the game, seemingly none the worse for wear. The Canadiens killed off another power play, even getting off a good short-handed look of their own.

Lindgren was able to turn aside a great chance by Mattias Janmark, one-on-one in the final minutes of the first.

Jamie and Jordie Benn collided and got into a shoving match, but it was the extra-curriculars of Brandon Davidson and Antoine Roussel that sent them to the four-on-four. Hudon drew another penalty, so the Habs had a four-on-three for more than a minute to end the period.

The Stars were the beneficiaries of the odd-man situation, getting in on a breakaway, but the determined back-checking of Jonathan Drouin prevented the shot.

After 20, shots were 9-7 for Dallas, and the score was tied 0-0.

The Stars decidedly had the better of the second period, but the Canadiens pressured at about the five-minute mark, unable to capitalize on some frantic action around the Stars’ net.

Hudon continued to create plays, and to generally be one of the most dangerous players on the ice, giving the Habs some lengthy time in the offensive zone. Jacob de la Rose also had a number of strong shifts with Torrey Mitchell and Nicolas Deslauriers.

Former Habs loomed dangerously throughout the game, Alexander Radulov, of course, being the big threat, but Greg Pateryn also got a number of quality shots throughout the second.

It was a current Hab who got onto the scorebaord first, as Brendan Gallagher scored a very Brendan Gallagher goal to give Montreal the 1-0 lead.

The Stars pushed back immediately following the goal, but Lindgren closed the door repeatedly in the scramble as the game amped up in intensity.

Off a faceoff late in the period, the Stars tied it up. Devin Shore reached around Jordie Benn for the goal with 1:38 to go.

Jamie Benn almost got a second less than five seconds later on a feed from Radulov behind the net, but 59 seconds after the Shore goal, Jason Spezza made it 2-0 anyway. Things did not get better as the Habs took a penalty with 16 seconds left.

De la Rose drew a power play, but the execution was lacking. The energy of the end of the second was nowhere to be found in the third, as both teams were sucked back into the lethargic pace of the earlier periods. The end result was that the middle of the third was fairly uneventful.

Until the last five minutes, that is, when Gallagher’s line once again caused mayhem around the Dallas net, but were unable to score on any of their chances. They did manage to draw a power play, but it’s usefulness was highly debatable.

On the other hand, the Canadiens dodged a major bullet when a shot from Radulov hit the goal post and missed the wide-open net, and then again when the Stars weren’t able to get a hold of a puck that was sitting in the blue paint behind Lindgren.

The Habs were unable to tie the game up with the empty net with 1:20 to play, and Tyler Seguin got the empty-net goal to give the Stars the 3-1 win.

Thoughts

  • Jeff Petry had a good game, and Brandon Davidson should play more than certain others. I have no idea why he’s been sitting when they’ve been struggling defensively. Considering that the big news was that there was no Weber, the defense, at least through the first half of the game, was fine. Maybe not inspired, or even great, but fine. Well, except on that one goal ... and that other one....
  • This game was really more of the same. The Habs started strong, got a goal, gave up a goal, and then went into meltdown. At least last night, they pulled themselves together for a good shift or two?
  • After that first period, Gallagher and Hudon aside, there weren’t really a lot of positives.
  • Something’s gotta give.