Canadiens vs. Stars: Start time, Tale of the Tape, & how to watch

Montreal Canadiens vs. Dallas Stars

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: CityTV, Sportsnet East (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the U.S.: NHL Network
In the Stars region: Bally Sports Southwest X
Streaming: Sportsnet Now

The Dallas Stars tried to extend the lacklustre start to the season for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. They tied the game up in the third period to get the game to overtime, but the battle of the Brothers Robertson was won by Nick as he scored his second goal of the game in extra time to hand Jason’s team its first loss.

Dallas is out to a 3-0-1 record in 2022-23, one of four teams without a regulation loss to start. Their seven points have been well-earned as they sit near the top of the league in many categories, including having by far the lowest goals-against average at 1.50 surrendered per contest.

Jake Oettinger has picked up where he left off in the post-season, when he nearly single-handedly pulled the team into the second round versus a Calgary Flames team that was getting outstanding goaltending of its own. So far in 2022-23, he has stopped 84 of the 87 shots that have come his way, and he will challenge the Montreal Canadiens to bring their most creative play to Saturday’s contest.

Tale of the Tape

.44.6% (28th)Scoring-chances-for %53.1% (11th)
2.80 (25th)Goals per game3.75 (9th)
2.60 (9th)Goals against per game1.50 (1st)
7.1% (30th)PP%28.6% (9th)
93.3% (6th)PK%90.9% (8th)
1-0-1H2H Record (21-22)1-1-0

While the Stars were earning their point in Toronto, the Bell Centre was shaking 550 kilometres away as the Habs won their second game in a row, maintaining their perfect record on home ice. They faced a poor team, which was often a situation they struggled with in the past for whatever reason, but they had no issues dispatching the Arizona Coyotes by a 6-2 score.

The goals came early and often for the Habs that night as they raced out to a 3-0 lead in seven minutes, and tacked on three more tallies before the night was over. The loudest ovation came after the first one of Juraj Slafkovský’s career, a nice shot from the circle that was followed up by staring down Coyotes defenceman Josh Brown that will probably be more remembered than the actual goal itself.

Unfortunately, Slafkovský has sustained an upper-body injury sometime between then and now, and will be unable to join the team’s attempts to punch a hole in Oettinger’s defences.

It does mean a return to the lineup for Rem Pitlick after missing the last few games. He had made way for Jonathan Drouin to make his debut, and Drouin has responded with some inspired play, setting up a late game-tying goal versus the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, and nearly getting his own to start Thursday’s game with an open shot that went off the post before the puck was knocked in by Josh Anderson. Drouin was second only to Brendan Gallagher in individual scoring chances versus Arizona, showing off more of the offensive talent he possesses while playing on a line with Kirby Dach.

With players on all four lines contributing to the offence, it should just be a matter of time before the power play comes around, but we’ve believed that for quire a while now. The Habs failed to convert on their one opportunity with the extra man on Thursday and now sit at a dismal 7.1% efficiency on the year, this despite having Cole Caufield on a 65-goal pace. Dach has the team’s only man-advantage goal, and it will be tough for anyone to add the second versus the stingy Stars. So far, the Habs have been doing well enough without an operational power play, but versus Dallas they need to make the most of any chance they’re given.

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