|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 2, 2019
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas Attendance: 18,133
The surging Dallas Stars look to keep their collective fire stokes when they continue their four-game homestand in a march against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday in downtown Dallas.
Dallas begins play in the new year after a 3-2 overtime loss to Montreal on Monday. The Stars got goals from Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa as Dallas recorded 47 shots on goal, its third-highest total of the season. But Montreal netminder Antti Niemi kicked away 45 of those attempts before Jeff Petry won it for the Canadians 14 seconds into overtime.
It was Benn's team-leading 16th goal of the season, and came off an assist by Tyler Seguin, who now has team-leading 23 helpers this season. Goalie Ben Bishop made 35 saves but couldn't keep Dallas from snapping a three-game winning streak.
"If we keep playing like that, good things are going to keep happening," Seguin said. "Everyone wishes a few more went in with the chances we had, but Niemi played good. We just have to keep playing like that."
Dallas got off to another slow start, marking the 24th time in 40 games that it failed to score a goal in the first period. Their 19 goals scored in the opening 20 minutes of matches this season is last in the league.
The Stars have played twice at home, beating Detroit before losing to Montreal, in the aftermath of biting and profane criticism of Benn and Seguin on Friday by team CEO Jim Lites. Lites' comments, criticizing the players' recent performance, resulted in a stern admonishment from the NHL players' union on Benn and Seguin's behalf but got across his message to the team.
Dallas (20-16-4) has won three of its past five matches and is 1-1 in its latest run of games at home.
"We had our two best practices consecutively, and we've played well these last two games here," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said after the loss to Montreal. "We just have to keep doing it every day. That's been the biggest challenge with our group, is being good every day.
"I'm still frustrated with our starts -- I didn't like our start in the first period, but the second and third period was good."
The Devils head to Texas on the heels of a 4-0 shutout of Vancouver on Monday in which Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 25 shots to record his second straight clean sheet and a third consecutive win for New Jersey (15-16-7).
Brian Boyle, Miles Wood, Sami Vatanen and Pavel Zacha had New Jersey's four goals. But it was Blackwood who garnered the majority of the kudos after the win.
Blackwood is 3-1 since joining the Devils on Dec. 18 from Binghamton in the AHL. He became the first rookie goalie in franchise history to post back-to-back shutouts.
"You can see he has the talent," Devils coach John Hynes said about Blackwood. "Now it's about living the right way to give himself the best opportunity to perform. He has the right demeanor, and he's said the right things and done the right things and has a strong work ethic. Now the challenge for him is it has to become every day."
New Jersey has won three straight games for the first time since it opened the season with three consecutive victories.
Taylor Hall, the Devils' leading scorer with 37 points, missed the game, his third straight, with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day. New Jersey also played without goaltender Cory Schneider and forward Marcus Johansson, who are battling lower- and upper-body injuries, respectively.
Updated January 1, 2019