It seems that everyone we trade away loves coming back to haunt us. On this night, Mike Ribeiro fit that description, as in his 1st game vs. the Habs, Ribeiro tallied a goal and two assists.
Dallas was in complete control for the entire encounter tonight. The match was physical from the get go, as the Habs looked like they intended on contending with the Stars. Two early scraps set the physical tone, yet for some reason, the Habs decided to sit back as the game wore on, opening the door for one of the hottest lines in the NHL to get going.
The Miettinen-Ribeiro-Morrow line is getting it done and managing to fly under the proverbial radar in the NHL at the moment. In the nine games they have skated as a line this season, Miettinen, Morrow and Ribeiro have either scored or assisted on 20 of Dallas' 30 goals.
Ribeiro talked the talk prior to the game, and luckily for him, he was more than able to walk the walk. Ribs set up Miettinen's goal to open the scoring on a beautiful East-West feed, allowing Miettinen to outwait Carey Price and pot his 7th of the season. Morrow then added one, his 13th, off another setup from Ribeiro. Then, it was Ribeiro's turn. Christmas came early, but at the right time for him, as Hamrlik put the puck directly on his stick in his own zone, allowing Ribeiro to skate in one-on-one with Price and beat him with a wrister top corner.
The Habs looked defeated from the moment Dallas opened the scoring. The Habs weren't fighting their battles in the corners, on the boards, and at open ice. The Stars were the visibly hungrier team, and were rightly rewarded with the 4-1 win. Montreal got on the board last and late in this game, as the Kostitsyn brothers hooked up with assists on Markov's goal. Sergei was the architect, as the young Kostitsyn moved in with Markov on a 2-on-1 and sent a pass through the Dallas defender's legs and right on the tape to Markov for the easy tip-in.
The Habs will now take their Christmas break, and return to face Vinny Lecavalier and the Lightning Thursday night, before meeting Jokinen and the Panthers Friday.
Coming up tomorrow on Habs Hockey-Talkey: A look at some of the trade rumours currently floating around the World Wide Web.