Benn scores a goal, Stars fall in OT to Canadiens 3-2
Danault’s two goals, including the tying tally early in the third period, came nine days after his first career hat trick in a 4-3 overtime win at Vegas, giving him five of his seven goals this season in that span.
“I think I’m taking more of the middle,” Danault said. “Taking more speed and confidence. Sometimes when you score goals it helps you with your confidence. Which it did. And my wingers are playing well with a lot of speed.”
Antti Niemi stopped 45 shots against his former team in his third straight start and second win since Carey Price was sidelined with a lower-body injury. The Canadiens finished 4-2 on a season-long six-game road trip.
After Max Domi won the opening faceoff of 3-on-3 overtime, Paul Byron skated up the left side and slipped the puck across the ice to Petry , who easily beat Ben Bishop for his eighth goal. Domi collected his team-leading 23rd assist.
“It was a good faceoff win by Domes,” Petry said. “Anytime you can get possession in overtime is big. He gave me an outlet there and moved it across to Byron. Saw him going down the wing, and my opportunity to jump and make it a 2-on-1.”
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were on the ice for Montreal’s winning goal in their first loss since the high-priced forwards were harshly criticized by their front office. Benn scored his team-leading 16th goal on an assist from Seguin for a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Danault’s tying goal came when he collected an errant shot behind the net and stuffed the puck between Bishop’s pad and the post on a wraparound. His first-period goal for a 1-0 lead came on a loose puck just outside the crease as he was falling to the ice.
Benn’s goal came on a power play after his brother, Jordie Benn, was penalized for hooking.
The Stars have split two games since expletive-laden rants to reporters against Benn and Seguin by club CEO Jim Lites. The critique that the two players on expensive long-term contracts were underperforming for a team falling short of expectations drew a rebuke from the NHL players’ union.
While Seguin and Benn are still two of the top three scorers on their team, they’re not on a pace to be among the top 25 in the NHL, which they’ve been in five previous seasons together. Seguin’s assist on Benn’s goal was his team-leading 23rd.
“We had our two best practices consecutively. And we’ve played well these last two games here,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “We just have to keep doing it every day. That’s been the biggest challenge with our group, is being good every day.”
Radek Faksa pulled Dallas even at 1-1 in the second period when he put a wrist shot over Niemi’s glove on a pass from Valeri Nichushkin, who has six assists but is still without a goal in 31 games. Bishop had 35 saves for Dallas.
NOTES: It was the 20th consecutive time the Stars have played at home on New Year’s Eve. They are 12-6-2 in those games. It was Montreal’s second New Year’s Eve trip to Dallas. The previous visit was a 1-1 tie in 2003. … Stars D Connor Carrick played for the first time since Oct. 28. He’s been out with a foot injury. … Canadiens C Andrew Shaw didn’t return after the first period because of an upper-body injury.
Canadiens: Opener of three-game homestand Thursday against Vancouver.
Stars: New Jersey at home Wednesday.
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