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Roope Hintz scores twice as Stars rally past Canadiens

Dec 23, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson (44) checks Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) as goaltender Jake Allen (34) defends the goal during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Wyatt Johnston scored the go-ahead goal on the power play with five minutes remaining and Roope Hintz scored twice as the Dallas Stars rallied from a 2-0 second-period deficit to defeat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Friday night.

Johnston, a 19-year-old center who was the 23rd pick of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Stars, fired a shot from the slot that ricocheted right back to him and he buried the rebound into a wide-open right side of the net for his 10th goal of the season. The game winner also extended his goal streak to three games.

Hintz scored two power-play goals, Joel Kiviranta had an empty-net goal and Jason Robertson added two assists for Dallas, which enters the three-day holiday break with a three-point lead over the second-place Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division. Jake Oettinger finished with 22 saves for the Stars.

Michael Pezzetta had a goal and an assist and Jake Evans also scored for the Canadiens. Jake Allen stopped 32 of 35 shots.

Montreal, which entered the contest just 1-for-30 on the power play over its last nine games, took a 1-0 lead at the 4:04 mark on a power-play goal by Evans. Pezzetta hit Evans with a short pass in the slot and Evans then split defensemen Esa Lindell and Jani Hakanpaa before cutting to his right and firing a wrist shot inside the right post for his first goal in 34 games this season.

The Canadiens extended their lead to 2-0 early in the second period on Pezzetta’s second goal of the season on a wrist shot from the left circle that clanged off the crossbar and into the goal.

Dallas cut it to 2-1 at the 15:19 mark of the second period on a power-play goal by Hintz, who deflected a Jason Robertson shot over Allen’s right shoulder.

The Stars tied it at the 2:27 mark of the third period on another power-play goal by Hintz, who deflected Robertson’s wrist shot from the slot through Allen’s pads for his 16th goal of the season, setting the stage for Johnston’s game-winner.

–Field Level Media