Canadiens’ head coach Michel Therrien on the recent struggles the Canadiens have been enduring and the upcoming road trip: “We dominated the majority of those games, this stretch is going to make us a better team down the road, that’s why there is no internal panic. We’re actually playing good hockey.”
Stars’ head coach Lindy Ruff: “They skate really well, so you’re going to have two teams that can get up ice, so I think it should be a good contest. We’ve played inconsistent, and they’ve had a little bit of a tough time. Usually when we play it’s a pretty tight affair.”
Nathan Beaulieu on the Canadiens loss to the L. A. Kings on Thursday: “They’re a hell of a hockey team over there. That’s the tightest checking game I’ve ever played in the NHL. They force everything and they don’t give us much room. For us to get close to 50 shots on net, I thought we played a pretty good game, it all comes down to results. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the job done again.”
The Stars have won four of their last five games at home. Four of the Stars last five games have also gone to overtime or shootout, where the Stars have won two and lost two.
While the Canadiens have a 4-6-0 record versus teams in the Western Conference this season, The Stars boast a 14-4-0 record versus teams coming out of the Eastern Conference.
The Canadiens have really been struggling to cope without Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher, as they have won only a single game in their past seven (and two in their past nine). Their game versus the Stars will be the first of eight straight games away from the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens are currently in a three way tie for fourth in the league in goals against, with 76 in their first 33 games. The Stars’ defensive game has been better than most would’ve predicted, as they have allowed 83 goals against in their first 32 games and are in 15th in the league.
The Canadiens fall to fourth place in the NHL in the goals for category, with 101 over their first 33 games. The Stars’ offense has been unbelievable and they remain on top of the NHL in goals for with a total of 108 goals over their first 32 games this season.
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX. | December 17, 7:00 PM ET | TV: NHLN-US, TVAS, CITY, FS-SW+
Points (League rank)
*Advanced statistics: Score adjusted, even strength. CF%: Corsi for percentage of total CF60: Corsi For/60 minutes CA60: Corsi Against/60 minutes (via War on Ice)
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders
Johnny Oduya has been on fire of late for the Dallas Stars. Over his past five games, Oduya has points in four of them, totaling up five points in that span. Never known for his high offensive output, this recent streak is more than welcomed by the Dallas Stars as they haven’t been getting the results they strive for of late. Oduya’s main contribution is in the blocked shots and plus-minus categories, in which he has 67 blocked shots and is a plus-12 so far this season. With four goals and 11 points so far this season, Oduya is on route to nearly match his career point total (29) and surpass his career high in goals (6). Oduya doesn’t shoot a lot, as he does average under a single shot per game, but if you are in a league that counts plus-minus or blocked shots, than Oduya could help your roster.
Top scorers for the Stars on the road this season are:
Jamie Benn (with 25 points in 16 games).
Tyler Seguin (with 21 points in 16 games)
John Klingberg (all with 19 points in 16 games)
Top scorers for the Canadiens at home this season are:
Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty (both with 14 points in 19 games)
David Desharnais, Alex Galchenyuk, P. K. Subban, Dale Weise and Brendan Gallagher (with 11 points in 19, 19, 19, 19 and 12 games respectively)
Player stats retrieved from War on Ice, NHL.com player profiles and Yahoo Sports player profiles.