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4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, March 13, 2018
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec  Attendance: 21,302

Stars' Radulov returns to Montreal

Dallas Stars at Montreal Canadiens

  1. Dallas dropped a 3-1 decision in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, losing for the third time in the last four contests, while scoring two or fewer goals in all four games. The Stars are 1-4-0 in their last five road tilts (5-0-1 in previous six road games).
  2. Montreal was blown out, 5-2, in Columbus last night, losing its fifth straight game by a combined score of 20-9. Including three times in the last four contests, the Canadiens have allowed five or more goals 17 times in 2017-18 -- tied for third most in the league.
  3. The Stars beat the Habs, 3-1, in these clubs' first meeting of the season on November 21 at AA Center. Dating to the beginning of 2013-14, Montreal has beaten Dallas four straight times at Bell Centre, with three of those victories coming by a single goal.
  4. Alexander Radulov potted the Stars' lone goal Sunday night, giving him 25 markers on the season -- one shy of tying his career high in 2007-08 with the Preds. Radulov has three helpers in three career skates against the Canadiens.
  5. Brendan Gallagher lit the lamp once last night, and now has a career-high 25 goals on the season. Gallagher, who has four markers in his last six games, has four goals (one assist) in seven career skates vs. the Stars.
  6. Dallas is 3-6-1 (.350) when taking on teams in the second of back-to-back games this season -- second worst in the NHL. Montreal is 3-6-2 (.364) in the second of back-to-backs in 2017-18 (fifth worst in the league).

MONTREAL -- Emotion shouldn't be a problem for the Dallas Stars when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

The Stars (28-25-6) should be fired up as they fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are holding the first wild-card position with 82 points, two more than the Colorado Avalanche, who hold the second wild card, and three more than the Los Angeles Kings, who are on the outside looking in.

The Stars will play the second game of a big six-game road trip against the Canadiens (25-32-12) after starting the trip with a 3-1 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Dallas held an optional skate at the Canadiens' suburban practice facility on Monday.

In addition to what's at stake in the playoff race, the Stars can expect to get some emotion from forward Alexander Radulov, who will play his first game in Montreal since turning down the Canadiens to sign a five-year, $31.25 million with Dallas during the summer.

Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said Radulov, who also played three seasons in Nashville for the Predators, has performed well against his old teams. He played against the Canadiens Nov. 21 in Dallas.

"He's gone and performed awful well in Nashville. And he's done fine there and he played well against Montreal, so I anticipate that he'll be able to do the same again. But you're right, it is an emotional distraction," Hitchcock told dallasstars.com. "But I think just where everything's at playoffs-wise, we've all got to just get beyond all of that stuff right now."

Hitchcock spent Monday tweaking the Stars game plan against the Canadiens.

"At this time of year, you really leave the emotion to the players and you provide tactics and adjustments, and that's your job as a coach," Hitchcock told the team's website. "If you're having to take care of the emotion at this time of year, you haven't done your job for the first 60 (games). And you weather it with the players.

"Sometimes, it's going to be really emotionally draining and tough like (Sunday) was, and sometimes, it's going to be in good shape. So you just have to weather that storm with the players, and that's really important."

The Stars are without top goaltender Ben Bishop, who has missed the past three games with a knee injury. He skated Monday in full equipment for the first time since the injury.

"He's a couple of steps away, but it's a good sign to have him on the ice today with gear on," Hitchcock said.

Kari Lehtonen has started the past three games and is 1-2-0, but has given up only four goals in those three games.

The Canadiens return home for a brief two-game homestand. After hosting the Stars, they play the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bell Centre on Thursday. The Canadiens were 1-4-1 on their road trip and are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Monday.

The Canadiens, who are without top defenseman Shea Weber (out for the season after foot surgery), captain Max Pacioretty (knee) and goaltender Carey Price (concussion), have lost five games in a row (0-3-2).

The Canadiens will be looking to improve their special teams. The Blue Jackets scored on two of their three power-play chances and the Montreal penalty killing has slipped to 19th in the league.

"For us, when you're struggling on special teams, the best thing to do is not to overcomplicate it," Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher, one of the few Canadiens having a good season, told Montrealcanadiens.com. "Just simplify it, understand, do your job, trust that your teammates are going to do their own. At times right now we're maybe overworking and it's allowing seams and plays to open up."

Gallagher scored his 25th of the season, a new career high, against the Blue Jackets. He has four goals and two assists in his past six games.

Updated March 13, 2018

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