NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
Montreal 1 0 1 1 3
Dallas 0 2 0 0 2
2
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT, December 31, 2018
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas  Attendance: 18,532

Canadiens conclude six-game trip versus Stars

Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars

  1. The Stars defeated the Canadeins in Montreal on October 30, 4-1. The Stars won the last matchup in Dallas last season, 3-1, scoring two goals in less than one minute after falling behind 1-0 in the second.
  2. Montreal has scored at least four goals in three straight games, winning two of them. It is the first time the Canadiens have scored four goals in three straight games since October 2016.
  3. The Stars have won back-to-back games, including a 5-1 win over Detroit on Saturday, tied for their largest win of the season (also 5-1 vs. Winnipeg on October 6). It was their sixth game this month allowing one goal or fewer, most in the NHL.
  4. Andrew Shaw scored twice in Montreal's loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, his second multi-goal game this season. He has 22 points (10g, 12a) in his last 24 games after tallying just two (1g, 1a) in the first 11 games of the season.
  5. Ben Bishop is fourth in the NHL in save percentage this season at .926. He saved 33 of 34 shots against Detroit, his fifth game this season making at least 30 saves while allowing one goal or fewer -- only Boston's Jaroslav Halak has more such games (six).
  6. Jason Spezza has 69 career points (32g, 37a) against the Canadiens, most by any active player against the Habs. However, he has failed to record a point in each of his last two games against Montreal.

DALLAS -- The Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars enter their New Year's Eve tilt at American Airlines Center heading in opposite directions, but both clubs hope to end 2018 with a victory.

Montreal (20-14-5) is concluding a six-game road trip and is 3-2-0 on after a 6-5 loss at Tampa Bay on Saturday.

"I'd say we played our game. We're fast, we can create things," Montreal coach Claude Julien said postgame. "I thought defensively we were closing them quickly. I thought we did a pretty good job of getting on them."

The Canadiens are 10-7-3 on the road this season.

Heading into the third period against the Lightning, Montreal held a 5-4 advantage only to allow the high-powered Lightning offense to score two unanswered goals to prevail by one goal.

"There are some things we can take that we did well," Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said postgame. "We've been decent at that (holding leads heading into the third period) this year, so it's disappointing to let one slip."

Montreal and Dallas have already met once this campaign with the Stars defeating the Canadiens 4-1 at Bell Centre on Oct. 30.

Dallas (20-16-3) is on a two-game winning streak after a 5-1 drubbing of Detroit on Saturday, making the Stars 12-5-1 at home.

And even though Dallas started a crucial stretch where 10 of its next 13 contests are on home ice with a victory, rookie coach Jim Montgomery moves forward with guarded optimism about whether these past two wins are signs that the ship has finally been righted.

"I think it's too early to say we're building anything," Montgomery said after Saturday's win. "I think we've got to do it over a more extended period of time. In tonight's (Saturday's) win there were moments where we were a very good hockey team and there's moments where we weren't again. It's not a consistent thing of how we're playing together."

One aspect of Saturday's win Montgomery wants to clean up is the Stars putting the Red Wings on the power play four times, leading to Detroit's lone tall -- from Dylan Larkin in the third period.

"Not happy with it, I think it took away the momentum," Montgomery said. "You can't give refs the opportunity (to call penalties) by taking your stick off the ice. You've got to defend with your stick on the ice and you've got to skate to the defensive side. We had three stick penalties and one elbow."

As for Dallas' win in Montreal two months ago, Montgomery said after Sunday's practice that the victory was one starting goaltender Ben Bishop, who will also start Monday, stole by stopping 34 of 35 shots.

"Claude (Julien) is an excellent coach and he's got them playing real good hockey in my opinion," Montgomery said of the Canadiens. "Coming off the Detroit game, it's going to be a much faster game and a harder game for us. We need to be ready for it."

Bishop is 12-4-3 with a 1.73 goals-against average and .936 save percentage against the Canadiens.

Updated December 30, 2018

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