Alexander Radulov revived his NHL career in Montreal last season and now gets to face his former team for the first time when the Dallas Stars host the sliding Canadiens on Tuesday night. Montreal closed out a six-game homestand with a three-game winless drought (0-2-1), capped by a 6-1 drubbing by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
The Stars halted a three-game skid with a 6-3 win over Edmonton as Radulov scored a goal and set up another to boost his season total to seven tallies and 19 points in 20 games. Radulov returned from four seasons in Russia and recorded 18 goals in 54 points last campaign with the Canadiens, earning him a five-year, $31.25 million contract with Dallas. Montreal certainly could use the offensive skills of Radulov, ranking 30th in the league in scoring with 2.38 goals per game. There is some hope for optimism on the injury front with No. 1 netminder Carey Price, sidelined since Nov. 2, set to accompany the team on its two-game road trip to Dallas and Nashville.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TSN2, RDS (Montreal), FSN Southwest (Dallas), NHL.TV
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (8-11-2): Charlie Lindgren will make his eighth consecutive start in net, but after not allowing more than two goals in his first eight NHL appearances, he has been dented for five goals in each of the past two games. Price, dealing with a lower-body injury, faced Montreal’s top power-play unit during Monday’s practice as he inches closer to a return. “It’s a first step,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “It’s encouraging. Carey will make the trip. We’ll take things day by day.”
ABOUT THE STARS (10-9-1): Two days after Kari Lehtonen was pulled from Saturday’s start against the Oilers, Dallas announced the veteran netminder will be unavailable indefinitely due to personal reasons. Already plagued with injuries, the Stars also announced Monday that defenseman Marc Methot, who missed the past five games, will be out four to six weeks after undergoing arthoscopic knee surgery. In addition, forward Martin Hanzal (hand) is expected to be sidelined for three to seven days.
1. Montreal is 1-for-15 on the power play in the past seven games while Dallas has allowed at least one man-advantage tally in four straight.
2. The Stars recalled D Julius Honka and G Mike McKenna from Texas of the American Hockey League.
3. Canadiens D David Schlemko practiced Monday for the first time since suffering a hand injury in training camp.
PREDICTION: Stars 5, Canadiens 4