Stars 3, Canadiens 0

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 22, 2012
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 analysis than that because that's how simple it is.'' For a fifth straight game, the Canadiens allowed their opponent to strike first when Garbutt, just called up from the minors, snapped a shot from the circle over crouched goalie Carey Price. The Canadiens, seven points behind eighth-place Toronto and the postseason cutoff in the Eastern Conference, had many chances to tie the game in the second period when Dallas was whistled for four consecutive penalties. Montreal had scored seven goals in its previous 25 power-play chances, but the Canadiens failed to net a man-advantage tally for just the second time in seven games. ''We fell short,'' Cunneyworth said. ''We get that next one, tie it up, it gives us life. But we couldn't do that. We were reluctant at times to shoot it. That's what a power play has to do. We had plenty of opportunity, but we just couldn't pull it together to accomplish that.'' Ribeiro, traded to Dallas for defenseman Janne Niinimaa on Sept. 30, 2006, put the Stars ahead 2-0 at 4:32 of the third. Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley found the former Canadiens forward with a cross-crease pass to the left of Price. Ribeiro had suited up for a preseason game in Montreal this season but missed the Stars' only regular-season visit there in January 2010 because of injury. He was booed on his goal but was cheered when he was named the game's first star and offered a Jaromir Jagr-like salute to the crowd in recognition. ''I appreciated the applause and had a little fun with it,'' Ribeiro said. ''When you win, it's always fun, especially in Montreal and it was pretty incredible.'' Michael Ryder, another former Canadiens player, was happy to see Ribeiro have an impact in his long-awaited return. ''He was feeling it tonight, that's for sure. First time he's been back here in a long time, and he was pretty pumped to play,'' Ryder said. ''It was good to see him get that goal. It was a huge win for us.'' Price stopped 33 shots for the Canadiens (24-27-10), who have dropped four of their last five after a four-game winning streak. ''If could point out one or two things, we could fix it. But it's not one player, one thing or the power play - it's a lot of things,'' Eller said. ''That's not good enough. It's everybody, every time, every shift. We play like this, we're not even close to winning.'' Price stopped 33 shots for the Canadiens (24-27-10), who have lost four of five after a four-game winning streak. ''If we could point out one or two things, we could fix it. But it's not one player, one thing or the power play - it's a lot of things,'' Eller said. ''That's not good enough. It's everybody, every time, every shift. We play like this, we're not even close to winning.'' NOTES: Canadiens C Tomas Plekanec missed the game because of the flu. Rookie Louis Leblanc returned after missing one game because of illness. ... The Stars scratched forwards Jamie Benn (lower body) and Adam Burish, and D Sheldon Souray (lower body). ... Canadiens D Chris Campoli's penalty midway through the third period snapped a streak of 5 1/2 periods without an infraction against Montreal. ... The Stars haven't lost in regulation when leading after two periods since October 31, 2009 (59-0-6).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker