DALLAS | The Canadian was leading 2-0. He was on his way home for the Christmas break with a smile from ear to ear. Then he sinned by indiscipline.
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From the end of the second frame, the Stars took advantage of three of their five power plays to turn things around and defeat the Canadiens 4-2 last night at the American Airlines Center.
Roope Hintz, with a double, and Wyatt Johnston beat Jake Allen, while a Habs player was on the penalty bench. On each of Hintz's goals, up-and-coming Stars star Jason Robertson was complicit.
“We played a good match five against five. Unfortunately, we shot ourselves in the foot by taking too many penalties, ”said Jake Evans.
In order to stimulate his attack, Martin St-Louis had planned several modifications to his offensive units. For the first of the season, the head coach of the Canadian had separated the dynamic duo: Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki.
We cannot blame the Canadian coach for trying to find solutions. After all, that's why Kent Hughes pays him big bucks. Especially since we had noted a certain slowdown in the production of the captain.
That said, pairing him with Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia seemed like a bold gamble. Moreover, this decision quickly aroused the ire of supporters on social networks. And the results were timid to say the least.
Le 4e trio s’illustre
Curiously, it was the fourth unit that was the most productive. Evans took advantage of this stint in Texas to score his first goal of the season. A jewel that he achieved by serving a clever feint to Jake Oettinger, after having slipped between the defenders of the Stars.
Finally on the power play
With two seconds remaining in the penalty Mason Marchment was serving, Evans' goal was scored on the power play. It was only the second goal of the Habs' massive attack in 31 chances. And to think that he was registered by a player who, in principle, does not even evolve on this unit.
Michael Pezzetta, back in the lineup as a replacement for Evgenii Dadonov, had the first two-point game of his career. After being an accomplice to Evans' goal, he himself surprised Oettinger with a sublime shot from the wrists.
"I was happy with my game. Until I got this stupid punishment, ”said Pezzetta, who was in the dungeon when the winning goal was scored.
►The Canadian will enjoy a break of a few days before facing the Lightning in Tampa on Wednesday.
Dadonov left out
For this only visit of the season to Texas, Evgenii Dadonov was left out. "It's not a specific thing. We would like to see more attacks from him. But there is also his defensive game, said Martin St-Louis. However, he is not the only problem. I find that, in general, we don't play up to our standards. »
Jake Evans still hadn't hit the target since the start of the campaign when he stunned the Stars' defense and their goaltender, Jake Oettinger. " It is a relief. Besides, it happens just before the break. I wouldn't have to think about it anymore. I can come back with peace of mind. Joel Armia and Jonathan Drouin are now the only two Habs forwards still looking for a first goal.
By being an accomplice to his team's first two goals, Jason Robertson scored his 49th and 50th points of the season (24 goals, 26 assists). It took him 35 games to do so, making him the fastest player in Stars history to hit the 50-point plateau.
Johnston, an amazing rookie
First round choice (23rd overall) of the Stars in 2021, Wyatt Johnston is having an excellent start to his career. Having made the jump directly from junior hockey to the NHL, he earned praise from his head coach. “There are players who come to the NHL without too much tweaking to do. So far, Wyatt Johnston seems to be one of them,” Peter DeBoer said in the morning. In the evening, the rookie proved his coach right by scoring the winning goal.