Rabid Habs

Game Day Preview: Habs vs. Stars

After another steallar win against the hated Ottawa Senators Saturday night at the Bell Centre, the Habs will be on a quest to further increase their division lead over the Sens. Unfortunately, a tough opponent in the Dallas Stars stand between the Canadiens and a three point lead in the Atlantic division.

With the season winding down, the Stars’ plummet down the standings in relation to last season has been surprising. From 109 points last season, Dallas is projected to collect just 78 points this year. Nonetheless, the abounding amount of offensive weapons the Dallas Stars utilize will definitely terrify quite a few Canadiens fans. For instance, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, John Klinberg and Radek Faksa are the Stars top offensive players this season. With a balanced attack headed their way, Montreal will need to maintain their stingy defensive play in order to weather the storm against a talented Dallas team.

The last time the two respected teams went head to head was back on the 4th of January. Despite owning the lead for a lenghty part of the match, the Stars tied the game at three in the dying seconds of the third period. Fortunately, the Canadiens overcame the Stars offensive power and came away with the win. Tyler Seguin, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell scored the goals for the Stars while Alexander Radulov, Nathan Beaulieu each scored a goal and Max Pacioretty earned two tallies to lift the Canadiens.

Sibling Rivalry

It will be a tense night in the Benn household in Victoria, BC. Tonight’s match-up with the Stars marks the first time that brothers Jordie and Jamie Benn will play against each other in their NHL careers. Jordie Benn was acquired from the Stars on February 27th for defenseman Greg Pateryn and a 4th round draft pick.

Habs Lineup:

A mishap at the Habs’ morning skate created a change of plans for the Canadiens. Claude Julien was expected to give Carey Price the night off in favor of Al Montoya, but a lower-body injury sustained by Montoya will force him out of the lineup. Price will get the start while Zachary Fucale has been recalled from the Brampton Beast of the ECHL.

Julien’s forward rotation is still in action, as Steve Ott returns to the lineup tonight. Ott will replace Michael McCarron on the fourth line.

Pacioretty – Danault – Radulov

Galchenyuk – Shaw – Lehkonen

Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher

King – Ott – Mitchell

 

Markov – Weber

Emelin – Petry

Beaulieu – Benn

 

Price

Fucale

The Numbers Game:

Montreal Canadiens Statistic Dallas Stars
42-24-9 Record 31-33-11
204 GF 206
2.72 GFA 2.75
187 GA 238
2.49 GAA 3.17
6-3-1 L10 5-4-1
MTL 3 OTT 1  Last Game DAL 2 NJD 1

 

Who’s hot? Who’s cold?

Cold: In a bit of a sophomore slump, as you will, Radek Faksa has been producing some appalling numbers as of late. Three goals in the span of 15 games aren’t numbers you’d be looking for from a former first round pick. Despite that, Montreal will need to keep a close eye on Faksa due to the fact that his speed and puck handling skills undeniably make him a force to be reckoned with. 

Hot: Jason Spezza has carried the offensive load in the past three weeks for the offensively starved Stars. Spezza has recorded a respectable three goals and eight assists in the past 10 games. Despite the Toronto native playing through the wrong side of 30, the former second-overall pick has continued to accumulate high point totals since the early 2000s.

Top Five point producers (Dallas vs. Montreal)

Dallas:

  1. Tyler Seguin: 25 G – 45 A – 70 P (75 GP)
  2. Jamie Benn: 25 G – 42 A – 67 P (70 GP)
  3. Jason Spezza: 12 G – 33 A – 45 P (61 GP)
  4. John Kilingberg: 12 G – 33 A – 45 P (73 GP)
  5. Radek Faksa: 11 G – 20 A – 31 P (73 GP)

Montreal:

  1. Max Pacioretty: 33 G – 28 A – 61 P (75 GP)
  2. Alexander Radulov: 15 G – 33 A – 48 P (70 GP)
  3. Alex Galchenyuk 16 G – 26 A – 42 P (54 GP)
  4. Shea Weber: 17 G- 25 A-42 P (75 GP)
  5. Paul Byron: 20 G – 17 A – 37 P (74 GP)

Game time is 7:30. Follow Robert on Twitter @TheStandardBob, and follow @Rabidhabs for more updates!