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Lehtonen, Stars blank Canadiens

Feb 22, 2012 - 4:17 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves to record his second shutout of the season and 19th of his career as the Dallas Stars blanked the Montreal Canadiens, 3-0, at Bell Centre.

Ryan Garbutt netted his first career NHL goal, while Mike Ribeiro and Tom Wandell also lit the lamp for the Stars, who snapped a two-game skid.

"We were desperate, but I think we had a better start to the game," Lehtonen said. "In the first, we were playing very well and that set the tone. It kept their fans quiet and that helped a lot."

Carey Price was tagged for all three goals on 36 shots for the Canadiens, who have lost four of their last five games.

Dallas opened the scoring at 14:12 of the first stanza when Garbutt fired a shot off the outside of the net that was chased down by Jake Dowell. Dowell flipped a backhand pass to the slot and Garbutt was there to one-time it past Price for the 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second stanza, the Stars struck for two goals in the third period to put the game away.

Dallas doubled its edge just 4:32 in, when Trevor Daly took the puck from the right point down low and around behind the net. He emerged at the left circle, spun around and found Ribeiro parked in front with a perfect pass and the former Canadien one-timed it home.

Ribeiro played with the Habs from 1999-06 and it was his first game in Montreal since the Stars acquired him.

"I don't celebrate like that usually, but it has been six years," Ribeiro said of coming back to burn his former team. "I didn't know what to do, I was just excited and put my arms up. It was a big goal for us. It was also a big game for us, and our penalty-kill did a super job, and our goaltender made the saves which gave us a chance to win."

The Stars finished off the win at 5:09 of the final stanza. Tomas Vincour dug the puck off the wall on the right wing just inside the offensive blue line and dropped it to Wandell. Wandell worked his way to the slot and got off a low hard wrister that beat Price cleanly.

Lehtonen made 11 of his 31 stops in the third period to preserve the shutout.

"It's late in the season, we're still searching for the right answers at the start of the games," Canadiens head coach Randy Cunnyworth said. "We've been looking for a lot of energy to start those games. We wanted to just get the puck on the net, but it was a long time before we got a shot. You have to have a good start at home. They won all the races, we didn't."

Game Notes

With the victory, Dallas has reached the 30-win plateau for the 15th straight season...Montreal failed to convert on four power-play chances, while the Stars went 0-for-1 with the man advantage...Dallas will face the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, while the Canadiens will visit the Washington Capitals on Friday.