Canadiens hold off Red Wings for 5-3 victory

MONTREAL — The Red Wings’ power-play got them back in the game, but the Montreal Canadiens proved too much in the end to keep Detroit’s four-game winning streak rolling.

The Red Wings scored three times in the third, including two power-play goals, to tie it at 3-3, but Montreal got a second goal from captain Brian Gionta to regain the lead, and Alex Galchenyuk got credit for the Canadiens’ fifth goal in Detroit’s 5-3 loss Saturday night at Bell Centre.

Pavel Datsyuk got the Red Wings’ comeback underway with his first goal since Dec. 30 in his second game back from a left knee injury that sidelined him for five weeks.

Luke Glendening scored his first NHL goal 36 seconds later to draw the Red Wings within 3-2, and Niklas Kronwall drove a slap shot through traffic to tie it at 10:44 with Detroit’s second power-play goal of the period.

The Red Wings ran into a Montreal squad that was coming off a 7-4 win in Ottawa on Friday. The Canadiens kept right on rolling Saturday as they drove out to a 3-0 lead in the second.

“We didn’t give up tons of shots, but we gave up too many opportunities and you can’t give up five goals,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who remains tied with Jack Adams for the franchise lead in wins by a coach with 413. “I thought (Carey) Price was really good in net and gave them an opportunity, and we could have been in the game earlier than that, but anytime you get to three and you’re tied in the third, you’ve got to find a way to win the game, and we didn’t do that.”

Max Pacioretty, who recorded a career-high five points against the Senators, including his third hat trick of the season, scored his team-leading 39th goal on a break against Jonas Gustavsson to put Montreal up by two.

Gustavsson looked strong early when he made a sensational lunging save with the back of the paddle of his goal stick to deny Tomas Plekanec’s shot at an open right side. Gustavsson then recovered to jam his pad against the left post to thwart Daniel Briere’s attempt to come out front.

He stuck out his glove to deflect Briere’s rising shot moments later on a Montreal power play after Brendan Smith was sent off for cross-checking at 8:03.

With Toronto’s 4-2 loss to Winnipeg, the Red Wings remain three points ahead of Columbus for the first of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Wings, who began a three-game trip, have four games remaining. They play in Buffalo on Tuesday and Pittsburgh on Wednesday before returning to Joe Louis Arena to face Carolina in their final home game Friday. Their regular season ends Sunday in St. Louis.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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