Detroit at Montreal (11/21/09)

Tonight’s matchup was a classic rivalry between Detroit and their old foe the Montreal Canadiens. It’s a great original six battle that we don’t get to see that often. It was a road game for the Wings who were coming off a disappointing loss last night to the Florida Panthers. Jimmy Howard started in net for the Wings and Carey Price started for the Canadiens. The Canadiens were wearing a special jersey that was from 1909-1910 season. That’s quite a classic!

About halfway through the first period Georges Laraque came out and first he high-sticked Helm in the mouth, then we stuck his leg in front of Kronwall to purposely hit him knee on knee. Kronwall had to be helped off the ice and went straight to the dressing room. It didn’t look good. Laraque got four minutes for the high stick since Helm was cut, and two minutes for kneeing. He should have been ejected but the referees don’t get to see the replay to determine penalties. I believe he should be suspended for the knee because it looked intentional. There’s no way you can do that without meaning to injure someone. I’m sure the league will be reviewing this one tomorrow.

The Canadiens killed off about half of the six minutes of power play time and then Brad Stuart shot from the blue line. It looked like Leino got a stick on it and it changed direction slightly. Price couldn’t get it and the Red Wings went up one to nothing. They gave the goal to Stuart but I’m not so sure that Leino didn’t touch it. The goal came during the second of the three minors so there was still two minutes of power play time left.

Then Mara crosschecked Holmstrom about a dozen or so times and finally got called for it. That resulted in a 5 on 3 power play for almost a minute and a half. Just as the 5 on 3 was ending Lidstrom passed it to Rafalski who passed it to Datsyuk at the side of the net. Datsyuk just kept his stick down and banked the puck into the net. It was two to nothing Wings.

Almost immediately after the goal Travis Moen was called for roughing. During the power play O’Byrne slashed Datsyuk’s stick in half and was called for it so the Wings were on another 5 on 3 power play, again for almost a minute and a half. I don’t know what the Canadiens were thinking playing that way. They killed off the penalties but I don’t think you want to be in the penalty box that much against the Red Wings.

Close to the end of the first period Abdelkader hit Georges cleanly but he didn’t like and got up pushing and shoving. Georges’ stick ended up under Abdelkader’s arm and he held on to it. Georges just let go of it at that point and Abdelkader was called for holding the stick. The Wings killed it off until the end of the first period so the Canadiens would start the second period with 51 seconds of power play. The Red Wings were able to kill off the rest of the power play with no trouble.

Kronwall did not come back out in the second period and it was announced that would not be back for the rest of the game. Not a good sign.

There was no scoring in the second period. The Red Wings continued to dominate but didn’t score. Howard looked great when called upon but he didn’t have much work.

At the beginning of the third period the Red Wings turned the puck over along the boards in the neutral zone. Kostitsyn dropped it off for Cammalleri at the blue line. He ripped one that burned Jimmy Howard and brought the Canadiens back to within one goal. It was a heck of a shot but Howard just didn’t seem ready for it.

Nearing the halfway mark of the third period Lidstrom sent the puck around behind his own net but there were no Red Wings in the area. Kostitsyn took it and put it in front of the net to Cammalleri who tapped it in behind Howard. That tied it up at two. I’m not sure why Lidstrom turned the puck over. Maybe he expected a Red Wings player to be there or maybe it was just a mistake. If so, we can’t complain too much as it would probably be the first mistake I’ve ever seen him make!

The Canadiens really turned it up in the third period. They looked like a different team. It may have been more the result of the Red Wings being tired. Considering it was the second of back to back games and they were down a defenseman through most of this one, I’d expect them to be pretty worn out.

The tie held until the end of regulation so both teams got a point. The game headed to overtime to determine the recipient of the extra point.

The pace was crazy in the overtime period. They really opened it up and went back and forth with good scoring chances at both ends. Neither team scored though so they headed for the shootout.

Cammalleri went first in the shootout. He came in fast and shot high. Howard stopped it with a great glove save. Datsyuk was the first shooter for Detroit. He made a few dekes which Price bit on and then Datsyuk buried it for a goal. Plekanec was up next for the Canadiens. He swung all the way out to the wall and then cut back across to the front of the net. He shot and hit a post. Then Zetterberg was up. He shot and got it through the five hole for the game winner.

So the Red Wings came away with two points. After dominating most of the game it would have been a big disappointment to lose again in overtime so it was great that they were able to get the win.

This 3-2 win brings us to:
26 points

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