Habs Down Detroit on the Road
The Montreal Canadiens kicked off their 5 game road trip with a big win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. This was an exciting back and forth game that required overtime to solve it. Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk ended up scoring the game winning goal on a beautiful pass from Alexander Radulov, the result of a 2-on-1 rush by the teammates. Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek had no chance on the shot and suffered a heartbreaking loss that comes in a game where he shined.
The Canadiens came out flying in this game, while Detroit was no where to be found in the first period. The Red Wings only managed a total of 5 shots on Carey Price in the opening frame, none of them actually scoring chances. On the other end Mrazek had to be on his game, making save after save, including a highlight reel glove stop to keep the game scoreless through 1 period.
A much better Red Wings team hit the ice in the second period, forcing Carey Price and the Habs to step up their game. Unfortunately for Detroit this meant stepping up the physicality, a move that cost them dearly. Wings D-man Brendan Smith got tangled up with Montreal’s Phillip Danault, colliding knee-on-knee. Smith limped off the ice following the collision and did not return. Later in the period the Wings lost Tyler Bertuzzi to injury after a questionable hit by Montreal’s Alexei Emelin. Neither team managed a goal in the 2nd, keeping the game scoreless.
The third period proved to be the exciting one in this game. Detroit drew first blood on a goal by Justin Abdelkader early in the period to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Habs responded midway through the 3rd with a goal by Brendan Gallagher that tied the game at one. Meanwhile the physical play continued, with the actions of Emelin once again being called into question. He delivered a low hit to Wings star Dylan Larkin late in the period, causing the young forward to leave the game in considerable pain. Larkin would return to the bench but had limited ice time for the remainder of the match.
With neither team being able to decide things in regulation, the game was forced into overtime, only the 3rd such occurrence for the Canadiens this year. The Habs were forced to kill off an early penalty in the extra frame, after Shea Weber took a slashing call. However Montreal was able to weather the onslaught and took advantage of the open ice later in the extra frame. Alex Radulov and Alex Galchenyuk managed to get a 2 on 1 break that resulted in the game winning goal for Galchenyuk. Price made 32 saves in the win, while Mrazek made a total of 22.
Habs are California Bound
With Detroit behind them the Canadiens now travel to southern California for a 3 game stretch in the sunny paradise. The first stop for the Habs will be in Anaheim on Tuesday night. This will be the first meeting between the Canadiens and the Ducks this year. Montreal was 1-0-1 last season vs Anaheim, with both games being played this past March. The Ducks sit 4th in their division with a record of 10-8-4 this year. With the win over Detroit Montreal is now 16-4-2 and continues to lead the league. Game time on Tuesday is 10:00PM EST.
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