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Mantha scores first NHL goal, Red Wings survive 3rd period scare to defeat Habs 4-3

RED WINGS vs. CANADIENS
 40 SOG  29
 1/4 POWER PLAY  0/1
 33 FACE-OFF WINS  32
 22 HITS  25
 7 BLOCKED SHOTS  12
 8 GIVEAWAYS  6

1st Period

Each team took a couple minutes to feel one another out. Montreal took the first penalty of the game as Tomas Plekanec headed to the box for cross-checking. There was some commotion in front of the net, like a rugby scrum. The play would go to review to see if the puck crossed the line before the whistle went for the penalty call. It was determined the whistle went before the puck crossed the line and no goal was the call. The Red Wings weren’t able to do much on the man advantage. Anthony Mantha put a wrist shot on net, but the right pad of Ben Scrivens prevented Mantha’s first NHL goal. Montreal committed a turnover in the offense zone that the Wings looked to try and capitalize on. Brad Richards fed Andreas Athanasiou, but his back handed attempt sailed over the net. The Canadiens committed another infraction as Torrey Mitchell headed to the box for tripping. Max Pacioretty had a great shorthanded chance, but a great back-check by Dylan Larkin prevent a potential Habs goal. The Red Wings’ power play was extinct and had no quality chances to do much of anything on the man advantage. Pacioretty jumped on a Detroit turnover and put a puck on net, but Petr Mrazek was there to get a piece of the shot. The Wings got on the board first late in the period. Brendan Smith put a shot on goal that hit Riley Sheahan‘s skate and Sheahan backhanded the puck past Scrivens.

2nd Period

Brendan Smith doled out a solid check that led to retaliation and the gloves dropping in the process. Both teams had representatives head to the box with the Canadiens getting an extra two for instigating, which sent the Wings to the power play. No damage was done on the man advantage. Montreal turned the puck over in their own zone, Darren Helm jumped on the loose puck and put it on net where Athanasiou tipped the puck and a scramble ensued. The puck found Luke Glendening‘s stick and he buried it. Twelve seconds later, Sheahan notched his second goal of the game. Pavel Datsyuk lifted the stick of a Canadien’s player that helped out Sheahan’s opportunity. Nathan Beaulieu went to the box for high-sticking. The time finally came for Anthony Mantha on the man advantage. He went to the front of the net and, after a Brad Richards shot, there was a rebound and Mantha made sure it went in for his first NHL goal! Athanasiou looked to put a five-spot on the Canadiens, but found Scrivens’ glove instead.

3rd Period

Plekanec got the Canadiens on the board early in the third. Montreal would score two unanswered goals with a tally by Paul Byron off a rebound given up by Mrazek. The Habs seemed to put the Wings on their heels and really put the pressure on. Justin Abdelkader and Pacioretty both headed to the box with offsetting roughing penalties. Montreal got yet another goal, which was three unanswered at the time as Pacioretty made a play right as he exited the penalty box and the puck went off Niklas Kronwall‘s skate and got past Mrazek. The Red Wings challenged for goaltender interference, but it didn’t take long for it to be called a good goal. Glendening found a loose puck after the Wings got a scoring opportunity and looked to stop the Habs’ goal streak, but Scrivens made a big save to keep the Canadiens within a goal of tying. Mike Green and Stefan Matteau both headed to the box with offsetting roughing penalties. Datsyuk and Larkin both had great chances during 4-on-4 play. Kyle Quincey headed to the box with 16 seconds to go, which gave the Canadiens a 2-man advantage with the extra skater. The Habs put some good pressure on the Wings’ penalty kill and Mrazek, but the good guys held on and got a big 2 points with the victory. Hockeytown pulls ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and reclaimed the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference Playoff chase for now.

What’s next?

The Wings will play game two of a three-game home stand on Saturday night against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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