Canadiens paying price needed to win games

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are paying the price needed to win games recently.

That was the case Tuesday as they edged the Dallas Stars 2-1 thanks to goals from Michael Bournival and Rene Bourque and a strong 26-save performance from goaltender Carey Price.

"You can see guys want to pay the price to get some wins, and that's a great sign," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "When guys were blocking shots on the ice you could see the reaction from the guys on the bench. This is good for team spirit. They sacrificed their bodies to make sure we get the job done."

Defenseman Raphael Diaz assisted on both goals by the Canadiens, who spoiled the New York Rangers' home opener one night earlier.

Price got his sixth win in 11 starts after he was rested Monday, when backup Peter Budaj recorded the 2-0 win at Madison Square Garden.

Montreal (8-5-0) earned its third win in four games.

Cody Eakin scored his third goal late in the second period to draw Dallas to within one.

"It was a pretty hard-fought game," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "They got a bounce on the first goal going wide, I thought we did a good job killing off their power plays. They did a great job being in shot lanes and blocking shots. It was probably a game we could have come out of here with points."

Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 shots in his first loss during a run of four consecutive starts since returning from a lower-body injury. Lehtonen made 22 saves Monday in a 4-3 win over the Sabres in Buffalo.

The Stars (5-6-1) lost in regulation for the first time in four games (1-2-1).

Bournival opened the scoring with his third goal 12:02 into the first period. The rookie left winger tipped Diaz's shot from the right point, and his deflection struck former Canadiens defenseman Stephane Robidas and bounced past Lehtonen.

Price stopped Jamie Benn's shot moments later on a 3-on-1 break with Erik Cole and Tyler Seguin.

Diaz got his second straight assist on Bourque's fourth goal at 12:55 of the second. Lehtonen stopped Bourque's initial shot, but the Montreal left winger put the rebound between the Stars goalie's pads for his third goal in seven games.

Eakin brought Dallas within 2-1 when his long shot beat Price at 17:27 of the second.

Douglas Murray laid out Dallas left winger Lane MacDermid with a solid check in the third as the Canadiens defenseman was following through on a dump-in from just outside the Stars' zone.

NOTES: Stars C Ryan Garbutt sat out the fourth game of his five-game suspension for his illegal hit on Anaheim's Dustin Penner. ... Dallas D Kevin Connauton and C Travis Morin were left out of the lineup again as coach Lindy Ruff went with the same lineup he used Monday night in Buffalo. Connauton's only game to date was in Thursday's 5-1 win over the Flames in Calgary. Morin was recalled from AHL Texas on Monday. ... The Canadiens, who began a stretch of four straight games against Western Conference teams, only play four of their first 16 games within the Eastern Conference. Montreal has not faced an Atlantic Division opponent since losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs on opening night. ... Canadiens D Greg Pateryn was a healthy scratch for a fourth consecutive game.
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