Friday, March 28, 2014
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Canadiens Grab Road Win Over Red Wings

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[March 28, 2014]  DETROIT  The Montreal Canadiens got off to a fast start, sagged a bit in the middle portion of the game but finished strong on Thursday night.

Center Tomas Plekanec scored twice and winger Thomas Vanek had a goal and two assists to lead Montreal to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

The Canadiens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and led 3-1 going into the third. But Detroit left winger Tomas Tatar scored twice in 3:06 early in the third period to tie it.

Winger Max Pacioretty restored the Canadiens' lead just 1:18 later at 5:48 of the third and Vanek added his goal with 8:45 left.

"The second and third periods weren't good at all. We got lucky that we found a way to win," Plekanec said.

Center David Desharnais added a goal and an assist for Montreal (42-26-7), which won its fourth straight. Defenseman PK Subban had two assists and Carey Price made 26 saves.

"It doesn't matter if you win 1-0 or 10-9 at this point. It all adds up the same," Price said.


Canadiens coach Michel Therrien praised the line of Desharnais between Vanek and Pacioretty.

"They were true leaders the way they played. They were playing all over the ice, they were hungry and did the right things," Therrien said.

Tatar had two goals, center Riley Sheahan had a goal and an assist and right winger Johan Franzen scored for Detroit (33-26-14), which is battling to make the playoffs. Goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 24 shots.

"From the start, we weren't very good in the first period, starting with myself," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We were turning the pucks over all over the ice, we weren't skating and we weren't working. But in saying that we were still in the game somehow. Howie (Howard) kept us in there, gave us a chance.

"We make it 3-3, then they go up 4-3, 5-3, and we score right away again and it's still a game, but all in all we have to be better than this."

Franzen brought the Red Wings to within one 21 seconds after Vanek's goal. It was Franzen's 16th goal of the season and broke a nine-game goal-scoring drought.


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"I thought we played good and had lots of opportunity as far as offensively," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We were just poor in our own zone on sort-outs, on faceoffs, which is just an easy thing to do. So for whatever reason we didn't get that done.

"But my big thing here today is just, we said earlier, catch-up hockey is losing hockey. You've got to get prepared, you've got to play right and you have to do it for 60 minutes and be patient. When you start chasing the game like we were tonight, anything can happen. It's entertaining and all that for the fans, but it's not a recipe for success whatsoever."

Sheahan put the Red Wings on the board and cut the Canadiens' lead to 2-1 at 1:28 of the second period with his sixth goal of the season. He scored on a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle.

Subban's turnover set up the play. He and defense partner Francoise Bouillon were on the ice for all four Red Wings goals.

But Desharnais restored Montreal's two-goal lead with 8:57 remaining in the second period. His 14th goal of the season came on a one-timer from the right circle.

Plekanec's two goals gave Montreal a 2-0 lead in the first period. He opened the scoring 7:49 into the game and then got his 20th goal with 5:49 left in the first.


NOTE: Detroit RW Tomas Jurco returned after missing seven games with a broken rib. ... Montreal LW Travis Moen missed his second game with a concussion. ... Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk, who has missed 13 games with a sore knee, is skating, but there is no timetable for his return. ... Detroit C Henrik Zetterberg, who underwent back surgery on Feb. 21, will not be cleared for contact until April 18-19. ... Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty played college hockey at the University of Michigan. ... Montreal D Mike Weaver played college hockey at Michigan State. ... Canadiens RW Dale Weise missed his second game with an upper-body injury.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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