The Detroit Red Wings drop the final game of the season series against the Montreal Canadiens 5-3.
The Red Wings being slow out of the gate, the Canadiens would manage to strike first in the game. At 14:16, thanks to a bad line change by Detroit, Montreal got in around the defense and in on Jonas Gustavsson. They’d be driven wide of the net, but a pass to the crease off the pad of Gustavsson would find its way to Michael Bournival, who buried it in the open net for the 1-0 lead. Shots through one period were 13-10 in favor of Montreal.
The second period was more of the same for Detroit. Montreal would put another on the board at 8:52, when Max Pacioretty got in behind the Detroit defense and in on Gustavsson alone. He’d bury in around Gustavsson for the 2-0 lead. They’d do it again at 13:35, off of a defensive zone faceoff loss for Detroit. The puck would get intentionally rebounded off the boards behind the net. The rebound was redirected to the front of the net to a waiting Brian Gionta, who tapped it into the open net for the 3-0 lead leaving the period. Shots were 25-17 in favor of Detroit.
The third period was when Detroit finally decided to wake up, but were ultimately defeated by some terrible officiating. They’d finally get on the board at 5:11 on a power play, when a shot from the point from Niklas Kronwall was stopped, but the rebound came right to Pavel Datsyuk, who potted it past Carey Price to make it 3-1 Canadiens. They’d strike again just 36 seconds later, at 5:47, when Montreal turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and Detroit got in on a 2-on-1. Justin Abdelkader fed a beautiful pass across the slot to Luke Glendening, who banked the puck off Price and into the net for his first NHL career goal, and to cut the Canadiens’ lead to 3-2. The tying goal came at 10:44 on a Detroit power play, when Kronwall blasted a shot from the point through traffic that Price never saw, and off the inside of the post to tie the game 3-3. Montreal pushed back late, with some help from a bad goal and some non-calls. At 13:13, on what should have been called offsides, Gionta came into the Detroit zone backwards, and then brought the puck in in front of him, and got in on Gustavsson alone to tap in a rebound to make it 4-3 Montreal. They’d put another up at 15:40, when Alex Galchenyuk placed himself in the crease right on Gustavsson, preventing him from moving around in the crease, and had a puck redirect off of his body and behind Gustavsson for the 5-3 Montreal lead. Detroit would attempt a late 5-on-4 push during offsetting minor penalties, but came up short, failing to gain the two points in the standings.
93 is the magic number for Detroit right now. If we can beat Buffalo and Carolina, and take either Pittsburgh or St. Louis at least to OT, we can clinch. The season is far from over. They’ll get a night of rest and a night of practice and be back at it Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres, in their last meeting of the season. See you then, Nation.