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
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
"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
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
[to top of second column]
"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
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.
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