Slow starts have plagued the Montreal Canadiens recently, and put their playoff hopes in peril.
Ryan Garbutt scored his first NHL goal and Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves as the Dallas Stars blanked the Canadiens 3-0 on Tuesday night.
''We're looking for a lot of energy to start the game, and keep things real simple and throw a lot of pucks at the net,'' Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth said. ''We went for the longest time without a shot and you can't be playing that way at that time, to get things started.''
Mike Ribeiro, in his regular-season return to Montreal, and Tom Wandell also scored for the Stars (30-26-4).
The Stars took control in the first period, outshooting the Canadiens 15-6. The shots were 9-0 in favor of Dallas before Montreal recorded its first at 8:14.
''Dallas was better than us, plain and simple, all the way through,'' Canadiens center Lars Eller said. ''I can't stand here and make a deeper an...