Stars use special-teams goals to get past Canadiens

Associated Press
12/22/2010 12:40:22 AM
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DALLAS -- Adam Burish and Jamie Benn provided the early momentum, then the Dallas Stars finished what they started.

Benn scored a short-handed goal, Brad Richards added a power-play tally, and the surging Stars beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Tuesday night. The Stars have won 13 straight and are 16-2 when they score first.

"We wanted to pounce on them," said Richards, who has a team-high 16 goals. "We got a lead and never gave it up. It was a great effort all the way through."

Burish, Karlis Skrastins and Loui Eriksson added even-strength goals for the Stars, 10-0-2 in their last 12 at home. Stephane Robidas had three assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves to help Dallas improve to 11-2-2 in its last 15.

"We've had a lot of that, scoring by committee," said Dallas' Steve Ott, who had two assists. "Short-handed, power play, even strength, we're finding a way."

Carey Price, starting for the 10th time in 11 games, allowed all five goals on 17 shots for Montreal.

"It wasn't good all around," Price said. "We couldn't get a break. That's a team that's a blue-collar team. They brought a lunch-bucket effort and got rewarded for it."

Brian Gionta scored a short-handed goal and Mathieu Darche added an even-strength goal for the Canadiens, 1-5 in their last six. Montreal played the second game of a seven-game trip.

Burish's deflection off Ott's pass gave the Stars the lead at 6:59 of the first period. Burish batted at the puck with his stick, about waist high, and the goal stood up after a video review.

Benn broke through two defenders and backhanded a shot through Price's pads to make it 2-0 at 13:59 of the first period. Montreal had gone on the power play 16 seconds earlier.

"That short-handed goal really spurred us on," Stars coach Marc Crawford said.

Skrastins stretched the advantage to 3-0 at 2:31 of the second when he buried a rebound past Price.

Darche scored when the puck glanced off his skate and past Lehtonen, making it 3-1 at 10:43 of the second.

But Richards' shot from the left point went in off Montreal defenceman Josh Gorges at 17:00 of the second period to restore Dallas' three-goal lead.

Gionta's goal from the left circle at 12:15 of the third drew the Canadiens within 4-2, but Eriksson answered with a redirect 53 seconds later for his 100th career goal.

"It's fun to achieve that, but I want to keep it going," Eriksson said.

NOTES: It was the only meeting this season between the teams. ... Darche's goal also withstood a video review, when it was determined he didn't kick the puck into the net. ... The Stars hadn't beaten the Canadiens since Dec. 23, 2007. ... The crowd of 17,805 was one of the best attended home games for the Stars this season. "When you're playing an Original Six team, there's always added emotion in the crowd," Crawford said. ... Benn has two of Dallas' four short-handed goals. ... Skrastins scored his second goal of the season and 31st of his career in his 792nd game. ... Dallas scored on four of its first 12 shots. ... Dallas has a power-play goal in six straight games. ... The Stars are 10-2 against the Eastern Conference.

Adam Burish (Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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