The first game of the Montreal Canadiens' longest road trip of the season didn't go as planned. Bouncing back may be difficult as they get set to face one of the Western Conference's best home teams.
Montreal looks to avoid a season-worst fourth consecutive loss as the visitor when it continues its seven-game road stint Tuesday night against the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars.
The Canadiens (19-12-2) opened their trip with a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Sunday night and fell for the fourth time in five games overall -- their worst stretch of the season.
Michael Cammalleri increased his point streak to a season-best seven games with a first-period goal but saw his team fall to 17-3-2 when getting on the board first.
"The anger and frustration lies in the fact that this group of guys expects to win hockey games," said Cammalleri, who tallied a goal and an assist during a 5-3 home victory over Dallas on Jan. 14.
Carey Price, the NHL leader in wins with 18, stopped 25 of 28 shots against the Avalanche. He has allowed three goals or more in four consecutive starts for the first time all season.
Despite losing three of his last four on the road, Price's 2.01 goals-against average away from home is among the best in the league.
Brian Gionta, second on the Canadiens with 11 goals, has registered seven points during a four-game scoring run against the Stars.
Montreal had gone 0-4-0 with one tie in its last five games in Dallas prior to pulling out a 3-1 victory March 8, 2009, as Price made 30 saves.
The Stars are 11-3-2 at home, going unbeaten in regulation in their last 11 (9-0-2). They fell to San Jose 4-3 in overtime at American Airlines Center on Thursday night before posting wins in Columbus and Detroit over the weekend.
Dallas (20-10-3) came from behind Sunday to defeat the Red Wings 4-3 in overtime thanks to Loui Eriksson's three-point effort.
With the Stars down 2-0, Eriksson assisted on both first-period goals to tie the game, then scored 4:18 into overtime as Dallas improved to 14-2-3 in one-goal games.
"We had a lot of reasons, a lot of excuses to pack it in ... but our guys hung in there," coach Marc Crawford said.
Eriksson extended his point streak to three games, over which he has two goals and four assists. The Stars are 6-1-1 when he records at least two points.
Brenden Morrow registered two goals against the Red Wings while Brad Richards, who leads the Stars with 15 goals and 38 points, scored his third goal in two games.
Andrew Raycroft made 28 saves as he improved to 5-2-0 in his last seven starts. He is 3-0-0 with a 0.60 GAA at American Airlines Center.
Teammate Kari Lehtonen is 5-4-1 versus the Canadiens, allowing six goals in his previous meeting against them while with Atlanta.
Mike Ribeiro, who spent his first six years in the league with the Canadiens, has four points in two games against his former team.
Dallas is looking to score a power-play goal in six consecutive games for the first time since an eight-game run March 15-30, 2007. Montreal has allowed a power-play goal in each of its last three contests.
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