Bill Meltzer: Stars Gameday: 1/27/15 @ MTL


Opening the post All-Star break portion of the schedule, Lindy Ruff’s Dallas Stars (21-18-7) are in Quebec on Tuesday night to take on Michel Therrien’s Montreal Canadiens (29-13-3). Game time is 6:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

This is the second and final meeting of the regular season between the inter-conference clubs.

The Stars captured a 4-1 win at the American Airlines Center on Dec. 6.

Dallas put together a strong overall run in the weeks leading up to the All-Star break, posting points in 13 of 18 games (11-5-2). They exit the All-Star break four points out of the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

Good recent road play has helped their cause, as the Stars have points in seven of their last eight road games (5-1-2). Dallas must continue this trend to reach the playoffs. Twenty-one of the club’s remaining 36 games will be played away from the AAC.

The Stars dropped their final game heading into the All-Star break, losing a 3-1 home decision to the Boston Bruins. Vernon Fiddler broke a scoreless tie in the second period before goals by former Dallas forward Loui Eriksson and fourth-line forward Gregory Campbell put Boston ahead by the second intermission. Dougie Hamilton added a third-period insurance power play goal.

Kari Lehtonen, who had a rollercoaster ride of a season heading into the All-Star break, stopped 24 of 27 shots against Boston. The team in front of him mustered just one goal on 37 shots against defending Vezina Trophy winner Tuukka Rask. Dallas went 0-for-6 on the power play (to fall to 3-for-37 over the past nine games) while Boston went 1-for-4.

The All-Star break afforded the Stars the opportunity to get some injured players back into the lineup. Top pairing defenseman Trevor Daley, winger Patrick Eaves (ankle) and right winger Brett Ritchie are expected to be available for this game. Valeri Nichushkin (hip surgery) and Patrik Nemeth (severe forearm laceration from a skate cut) remain on injured reserve.

Montreal entered the All-Star break in style, capturing a 2-1 overtime win against the Nashville Predators in the final game before the break. The team has gone 12-3-1 over its last 16 games overall and 11-3-2 in its most recent 16 games at home.

On the Habs injury front, P.A. Parenteau is out with a concussion.