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Sam Montembeault stops 48 shots as Habs stymie Stars

Sportsnaut
Jan 18, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) stops a shot by Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson (17) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 18, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) stops a shot by Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson (17) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Montembeault made a career-high 48 saves as the Montreal Canadiens ended their long road drought by beating one of the NHL’s best home teams, recording a 5-3 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

The victory snapped the Canadiens’ nine-game winless drought in away games (0-6-3). It was just the third win (3-15-4) on the road this season for Montreal, which ended a six-game overall skid (0-4-2).

Dallas dropped to 14-4-1 on home ice, with the setback snapping a five-game home winning streak. The Stars have dropped three in a row overall, though.

Christian Dvorak scored two goals, Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist and Nick Suzuki had two assists for the Canadiens. Montreal’s Michael Pezzetta and Josh Anderson also scored.

Tyler Seguin and Joe Pavelski each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Jacob Peterson scored Dallas’ other goal.

The Stars, despite a 51-22 shot advantage, were held in check by Montembeault. The 25-year-old goalie was often spectacular, particularly on a point-blank robbery of Ryan Suter in the third period.

Besides the big edge in shots, the Stars also hit the goalpost four times. A potential Michael Raffl breakaway goal late in the second period wasn’t counted, as video replays couldn’t tell whether or not the puck actually crossed the line.

Against the Stars’ steady pressure, the Canadiens struck in quick surges. Dvorak and Pezzetta scored within a 22-second span in the second period to give Montreal a 2-0 lead. The visitors scored three times within the first 4:17 of the third period, beginning with Toffoli’s short-handed goal at the 1:03 mark, to pull out to a 5-2 edge.

The third-period flurry chased Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger from the game, after he allowed five goals on 19 shots. Braden Holtby stopped all three shots he faced in relief.

Toffoli’s short-handed marker highlighted a big performance from Montreal’s special teams units. The Canadiens killed off six of seven Dallas power plays, while Dvorak’s first goal of the night came on a Canadiens power play.

Toffoli made his return to Montreal’s lineup after missing 11 games due to hand surgery.

Earlier Tuesday, longtime NHL player agent Kent Hughes was announced as the Canadiens’ new general manager.

–Field Level Media