NHL Game Summary - Detroit at Montreal
(Wednesday, January 25th)
Final Score: Montreal 7, Detroit 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings probably wish their final game before the All-Star break took place at home, where they have won 17 straight.
But the schedule dictated that it was played at Bell Centre, where the Montreal Canadiens dealt the NHL's top club a 7-2 defeat on Wednesday.
David Desharnais scored twice and added an assist while Erik Cole totaled a score and two assists for the Habs, who have won two in a row over Original Six foes.
Rene Bourque and Max Pacioretty added a goal and helper each to back a 25-save performance by Carey Price.
"It was a great start, a good effort tonight," Cole said of the four-goal outburst in the opening 20 minutes. "The big saves by Carey early on and the big penalty kills certainly helped. We respected their abilities on offense and their transition game. It makes a big difference when we can grab the pucks and get them on the net."
Jiri Hudler netted a pair of third-period tallies for the Red Wings, who hit the long respite atop the standings with 67 points despite having their seven-game win streak halted.
Jimmy Howard gave up four goals on 12 shots and was pulled following the first period. Ty Conklin allowed three goals on 13 shots the rest of the way.
The Canadiens struck 5:08 into the contest, as Bourque crashed the crease and had a Scott Gomez centering pass deflect off his body and in a second before the net came off its pegs.
It was 2-0 with just over nine minutes left when Alexei Emelin slapped a rolling puck past Howard inside the right post for his first career goal.
Montreal pumped home two more before the end of the first as Desharnais lit the lamp with 2:02 remaining and Plekanec scored with 27 seconds to play.
Conklin was welcomed at the 1:52 mark of the second, when Pacioretty chipped a loose puck home from the right post, and the Habs went up 6-0 at 4:18 on a power play as Desharnais lifted a shot over Conklin's glove from the right circle.
Detroit spoiled Price's shutout bid at the 21-second mark of the third on Hudler's rip from the left circle, and he tallied again with more than six minutes played.
Cole tapped in a Lars Eller feed from inside the crease with 1:23 to play to cap the rout.
"We were not good tonight. All you have to do is look at the Western standings. With all the parity near the top, we'd like to be better," said Wings head coach Mike Babcock. "Definitely didn't want to give up seven goals and you just can't do that anyway. I'm going to the break humbled."
The five-goal difference was the largest margin of victory at home by Montreal over Detroit since an 8-1 win at the Forum on December 18, 1993...Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom did not play due to flu-like symptoms which ended his streak of 213 consecutive games played...Desharnais tied a career high for points in one game...Cole tied a season high, first set on January 15 against the Rangers.
01/25 23:17:08 ET