The Habs were taking on the Dallas Stars at home Tuesday night. Both teams were playing the second game of a back to back. Carey Price was back in the cage for the Habs, who are coming off a 2-0 shutout against the Rangers last night. It's always Difficult to play on consecutive nights and the players did show signs of wear and tear despite being so early in the season.
The Habs got off to an early first period lead when defenseman Raphael Diaz, who finished with two assists, took a shot from the point which bounced off of Stephan Robidas and found its way in the net. The Habs used the goal to generate more momentum in the back half of the period. Leblanc had a good scoring chance up close but was stopped by Kari Lethonen who stopped 22 of 24 shots. The Habs drew a penalty late in the period when Galchenyuk got hooked in front of the net but didn't generate much on this man advantage.
Dallas nearly nodded it up when Jamie Benn came in on a 3 on 1 however Carey Price came up with the big save. Price was struggling to handle the puck early on but seemed to regain composure as the period progressed. Especially in the final minute of the first when the Stars deflected a puck up close, Price made a great save and kept the lead intact . Aside from one or two chances neither team allowed the other to generate dangerous scoring opportunities.
What seemed to spark the club was a mid-period tilt between Francis Bouillon and Antoine Roussel. It was soon after this fight that the Canadiens got on the board.
Both teams were starting to feel the effects of fatigue stemming off the back-to-back games in the second. The Stars were trying to open the ice up a little more and make more creative passes, while the pace of the game did seem to accelerate Dallas wasn't able to produce results.
Bourque scored a good greasy goal off his own rebound to increase the lead for the Canadiens. The goal came moments after a power play where the Habs saw a lot of crisp puck movement, After the second goal it just seemed to break any kind of chemistry the Stars had going.
Fortunately for Dallas youngster Cody Eakin did manage to break the shut out bid for Price late in the second with a knuckler that should have been saved. This goal came at a great time for the Stars since the Habs were rather dominant until that point.
Early in the third rookie Valerie Nichushkin nearly tired it up but Bouillon saved the puck and cleared it from the zone. That seemed to wake up the Canadiens who nearly saw magic happen off of Subban's stick as he simply left the Stars watching him go by, his pass didn't create a scoring chance but was able to leave the fans in awe.
The next scoring chance was a sequence of passes that was tipped wide by Desharnais who hasn't been able to buy a goal all season.
Douglas Murray played his first game at the Bell Center and led the team in hits with 6 in his home ice debut. He dumped Roussel along the boards then followed up that play with a shot attempt and another big hit in the defensive zone to reignite the fans. He was called for interference midway through the third.
This penalty kill would have been a shooting gallery for Price had the Canadiens not been as active blocking shots. It wasn't simply on the penalty kill that the Habs were blocking shots, they were blocking lanes throughout the whole game and ultimately added to their league lead in blocked shots with a total of 29 on the night
With less than a minute left and the goalie pulled Price made a timely glove save and redeemed himself against the Dallas goal scorer Eakin. The stars wouldn't get any better chances and the Canadiens pulled through winning both games in their back to back.
The Canadiens hit the road and play in another back to back Friday and Saturday nights against the Wild and Avalanche respectively.