Kovalev, Canadiens too strong for Stars

DALLAS (Ticker) — All-Star MVP Alexei Kovalev snapped a tie
with just over five minutes remaining in the second period as
the Montreal Canadiens scored three unanswered goals en route to
a 3-1 triumph over the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Christopher Higgins and Andrei Kostitsyn also tallied for
Montreal, which snapped a modest two-game losing streak and
recorded its first win at Dallas since March 4, 1998.

All-Star Carey Price turned aside 30 shots to improve to 3-10-1
in 16 games since returning from a lower body injury that
sidelined him for three weeks.

“The last two games, he’s started to realize what he needs to do
to be successful,” Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. “He was
focused and made some good saves.”

The Canadiens also improved to 4-12-1 in their last 17 road

“It’s a bit of a relief,” Price said of the rare road win. “We
know there’s a lot of work ahead of us. We have to keep it
going. Home ice has been better for us. We’re looking forward
to getting back.”

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“We haven’t played well on the road,” Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos
said. “We’re looking forward to getting home and getting the
fans behind us. Hopefully we get on a roll and break away from
the pack.”

Loui Eriksson netted his team-leading 32nd goal and Marty Turco
finished with 16 saves for Dallas, which fell to 2-6-1 in its
last nine games.

Eriksson’s power-play tally notwithstanding, the Stars went
1-for-10 with the man advantage.

“We thought we had some good chances on the power play, we just
couldn’t score on the opportunities we got,” Eriksson said. “We
had a lot of chances, but we couldn’t score. We got the one,
but that’s not good enough.”

“The difference was, I think we could have put the game away in
the first with all those power plays,” defenseman Stephane
Robidas said. “We kind of gave them momentum back after they
killed all those power plays, they were pretty pumped up and
they came back.”