(Sports Network) - More than five years after being traded away by the Canadiens, Mike Ribeiro finally returns to Montreal tonight with the Dallas Stars as the teams clash at the Bell Centre.
Viewers in the Habs region can watch the game on TSN Canadiens beginning at 7:30pm et/8:30pm at. The game can also be heard live on TSN Radio 990 and TSN.ca/Montreal.
Ironically, Ribeiro is playing his sixth season in Dallas but has not appeared in Montreal either due to scheduling or injuries. He was drafted by the Canadiens in the second round of the 1998 NHL Draft and played parts of six seasons with the team.
The Stars last tasted victory in Montreal on Nov. 12, 2002, but Dallas has only made two trips to the City of Saints since that 4-2 win. The last encounter between these clubs at the Bell Centre was on Jan. 14, 2010, when the Habs recorded a 5-3 decision.
Although Montreal has three wins in the last five matchups with Dallas, the Stars are 7-3 with three ties in the previous 13 meetings between these clubs. Centre Tomas Plekanec will not play due to illness.
The Canadiens have lost three of their last four games and were dealt a 3-1 setback by the visiting New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Montreal native Martin Brodeur made 21 saves and Zach Parise, David Clarkson and Matt Taormina each lit the lamp for the Devils.
Max Pacioretty tallied the lone goal for Montreal, bringing his career-high goal total to 25. Carey Price stopped 22-of-25 shots in the loss.
"We can't let any shifts slide, but we did tonight and that was definitely the difference," Pacioretty said. "Maybe it's just nerves that our season could be over before the playoffs, but it's no excuse at all. In fact, it should give us more motivation to go out there and play 60 minutes hard as a team."
Montreal enters tonight trailing the last playoff spot in the East by six points.
Forward Louis Leblanc will playing tonight after missing Sunday's game against the Devils due to illness. He skated on a line at practice with Lars Eller and Aaron Palushaj.
Forward Erik Cole left Tuesday morning's skate early, but it was by design. He just wanted to get a quick skate in after the Monday off-day.
The Canadiens have lost their last three home games and are just 11-13-8 as the host this season. After tonight's game, Montreal will head out on a three-game road trip.
Dallas has lost five of its last six games (1-3-2) and that swoon has not helped boost the club's playoff chances. The Stars are currently three points out of a postseason berth in the Western Conference and seven points behind San Jose for the Pacific Division lead.
The Stars dropped a second straight test Sunday against Nashville. Colin Wilson scored the eventual game-winning goal for the Predators late in the second period of the 3-2 victory.
Michael Ryder and Alex Goligoski lit the lamp for Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen gave up three goals on 21 shots.
"We had our chances," Goligoski said. "But I think the most disappointing thing is that we gave them most of their chances. I think one goal they really beat us, but the others were just mental mistakes."
Dallas forward Jamie Benn has missed the last two games after sustaining a cut to his left leg against Calgary last Thursday. Benn, who is second on the team with 49 points this season, is expected to sit out a third straight game tonight. Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray has missed the last six games with a foot injury and is questionable for tonight.
The Stars have lost their last three road games and are just 13-14-2 as the visiting club this season. Dallas will complete a brief two-game swing Thursday evening in Chicago.