MONTREAL – Claude Julien was frustrated with the officiating in Montreal’s latest defeat, and he let it show.
Julien felt referees Dean Morton and Garrett Rank missed several calls in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The Canadiens, who have lost four games in a row, led 3-0 in the second period.
“‘It’s pretty obvious we should have gotten power plays,” said the Canadiens coach, who’s rarely outspoken about officiating. “Some people need to be held accountable after this game. We had to beat two teams tonight.
“We couldn’t talk to the official. He was screaming at our players. I told him, when he was close to the bench, that I hoped he watched his games back. He told me to take a hike.”
Julien pointed to three plays that he believed should have been penalties against the Stars but weren’t: Tyler Seguin breaking Ilya Kovalchuk’s stick, Jason Dickinson hooking Joel Armia in overtime and Mattias Janmark’s high stick on Max Domi in OT.
But instead of the power play Julien felt Montreal deserved, the teams played 3-on-3 hockey with Seguin netting the overtime winner at 2:52 on a nifty backhand, a minute after Ben Bishop robbed Tomas Tatar in close.
“I think Kovalchuk is an automatic penalty with that slash,” said Julien. “Armia, that’s a hook, there should have been a penalty on him in overtime. Max in overtime, he gets a stick in the mouth. He’s bleeding from the mouth. There’s no penalty there.
“It’s embarrassing, honestly.”
Down 3-0, the Stars (34-19-5) scored twice within six minutes in the second to get within one.
An awful giveaway by defenceman Marco Scandella to Joe Pavelski on a zone exit led to Janmark’s easy tap-in at 9:05. And with time expiring on Armia’s hooking penalty, Seguin ripped a one-timer top shelf past Carey Price at 15:47.
Dallas has scored a power-play goal in seven consecutive games.
Blake Comeau completed the comeback for the Stars at 9:08 of the third when his shot from the blue line went off Scandella and changed directions.
The Stars extended their win streak to four games and improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight.
“We’ve been doing this all season,” said Bishop, who made 29 saves and improved to 14-4-4 against Montreal. “I don’t think there’s any doubt in this room when we go down. It’s kind of the way we play. We stick to our systems.
“They got a couple of lucky bounces to get their goals, so I don’t think anybody was too worried.”
The Habs (27-26-8) were playing the second game of a back-to-back after dropping a 4-1 contest to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
Outscored 11-4 on their three-game slide, Montreal’s offence finally got going. They needed a fast start and they got it through Armia’s opener at 1:02. The Finnish winger cashed in Domi’s loose rebound in the slot for the easy tap-in.
Montreal added another early one when Jordan Weal broke free of defenceman John Klingberg’s coverage, skated into the blue paint and deflected Nick Suzuki’s pass in the crease at 3:58. Weal was a game-time addition to the lineup after Jonathan Drouin (sprained ankle) was a late scratch.
The home team increased its lead less than three minutes later when Nick Cousins used Klingberg as a screen to beat Bishop five-hole on a fast break.
“That was a good hockey team over there,” said Domi of blowing the 3-0 lead. “They’re a veteran team and they stuck with it. They got some bounces, some power plays and they capitalized.”
Notes: Pavelski had two assists after missing two games with an injury. … Price allowed four goals on 26 shots. … Former Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov (lower-body injury) did not play. … It was the second and last meeting between Montreal and Dallas this season. The Stars won 4-1 on Nov. 2.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2020.