Stars

Benn, Richards Send Stars Over Canadiens 5-2

Left wing Brenden Morrow #10 of the Dallas Stars celebrates a goal in front of Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens on December 21, 2010 in Dallas. (credit: Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)

Left wing Brenden Morrow #10 of the Dallas Stars celebrates a goal in front of Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens on December 21, 2010 in Dallas. (credit: Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)

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DALLAS (AP) - Adam Burish and Jamie Benn provided the early momentum, then the Dallas Stars finished what they started.

Benn scored a short-handed goal, Brad Richards added a power-play tally, and the surging Stars beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Tuesday night. The Stars have won 13 straight and are 16-2 when they score first.

“We wanted to pounce on them,” said Richards, who has a team-high 16 goals. “We got a lead and never gave it up. It was a great effort all the way through.”

Burish, Karlis Skrastins and Loui Eriksson added even-strength goals for the Stars, 10-0-2 in their last 12 at home. Stephane Robidas had three assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves to help Dallas improve to 11-2-2 in its last 15.

“We’ve had a lot of that, scoring by committee,” said Dallas’ Steve Ott, who had two assists. “Short-handed, power play, even strength, we’re finding a way.”

Carey Price, starting for the 10th time in 11 games, allowed all five goals on 17 shots for Montreal.

“It wasn’t good all around,” Price said. “We couldn’t get a break. That’s a team that’s a blue-collar team. They brought a lunch-bucket effort and got rewarded for it.”

Brian Gionta scored a short-handed goal and Mathieu Darche added an even-strength goal for the Canadiens, 1-5 in their last six. Montreal played the second game of a seven-game trip.

Burish’s deflection off Ott’s pass gave the Stars the lead at 6:59 of the first period. Burish batted at the puck with his stick, about waist high, and the goal stood up after a video review.

Benn broke through two defenders and backhanded a shot through Price’s pads to make it 2-0 at 13:59 of the first period. Montreal had gone on the power play 16 seconds earlier.

“That short-handed goal really spurred us on,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said.

Skrastins stretched the advantage to 3-0 at 2:31 of the second when he buried a rebound past Price.

Darche scored when the puck glanced off his skate and past Lehtonen, making it 3-1 at 10:43 of the second.

But Richards’ shot from the left point went in off Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges at 17:00 of the second period to restore Dallas’ three-goal lead.

Gionta’s goal from the left circle at 12:15 of the third drew the Canadiens within 4-2, but Eriksson answered with a redirect 53 seconds later for his 100th career goal.

“It’s fun to achieve that, but I want to keep it going,” Eriksson said.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)