The Dallas Stars are looking to end their three-game road trip on a winning note against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday afternoon. It's an unusual time for an opening puck drop since the Stars will be playing at noon Central Time on Saturday. Regardless of the time, the Stars must win to take advantage of what happened on Thursday night in the Central Division. Here are the three keys of the game against the Montreal Canadiens today.
Dallas Stars vs. Montreal Canadiens Preview: 3. Aggressive tempo
The Stars must come out and set the tone in the first period. That means taking the Canadiens out of the game early and securing the win in the first period. They are third to last in the Atlantic Division going into this matchup, so this should be a "bye game" for the Stars. The last thing the Stars need is to go 1-2 on this trip out of the All-Star break. If the Stars can find a way to set the tempo early against the Canadiens, the Stars should finish 2-1 on the road.
Dallas Stars vs. Montreal Canadiens Preview: 2. Shut down Cole Caufield
The Stars must shut down Cole Caufield if they want to beat the Canadiens this afternoon. Caufield has 17 goals and 23 assists going into the matchup with the Stars. They can not allow him to skate around with the puck around Oettinger. They must check Caufield into the boards and steal the puck away from him. If the Stars can shut down Caufield this afternoon, they can steal two points on the road in Montreal.
Dallas Stars vs. Montreal Canadiens Preview: 1. Fixing the special teams problems
The Stars must score on the power play and kill off penalties this afternoon. Allowing Toronto to score on their first three power plays was a bad thing that happened to the Stars in the last game. The other issue was that the Stars passed the puck on the power play. They need to shoot the puck at the net and cash in on rebounds. If the Stars can fix those problems this afternoon, they will beat the Canadiens and travel back to Texas with two points.