By Derek Lalonde’s math, the Detroit Red Wings had given up “a lot” of goals in games played after a day off.
That was the challenge the Wings faced Tuesday when they hosted Original Six rival Montreal Canadiens at Little Caesars Arena. The Wings were off on Monday after winning back-to-back games against both New York teams over the weekend.
The Wings put on a good performance, but had to settle for a 3-2 shootout loss that snapped their winning streak at three games.
Ville Husso and counterpart Jake Allen made a couple big saves each in overtime to force the shootout.
Detroit-area native Austin Czarnik scored his first goal, on a play that earned Dominik Kubalik his 16th point of the season. Lucas Raymond tied the game midway through the third period, on a play that extended Pius Suter’s point streak to three games.
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Matt Luff was shaken up and went to the locker room after a hit from behind from Juraj Slafkovsky that earned the Canadiens rookie a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
Second-line winger Kubalik was involved in two offensive chances in the first five minutes of the game, working the puck in Montreal’s zone to generate shots on net for himself or linemates Andrew Copp and David Perron. It was the Canadiens who struck first, though, on a second chance. Brendan Gallagher came up the left flank and fired a shot that Husso denied with his stick, sending a juicy rebound ricocheting into the right circle. Mike Hoffman turned that opportunity into a 1-0 lead, at 5:41.
Larkin got a second chance to go in alone on Allen when Kirby Dach’s interference led to a slashing call and a penalty shot for Larkin, but he fumbled the puck and didn’t get off a good shot. Hoffman and Gallagher paired up to score again with 15.2 seconds left in the first period.
Czarnik, who grew up in the Oakland County suburb of Washington, had his room wallpapered with Red Wings pictures when he was a kid. Now he’s playing — and scoring — for them. Czarnik, 29, was signed to the system in the offseason partly for his 142 NHL games experience, and was called up over the weekend when Filip Zadina was lost to a lower-body injury. Czarnik had a shot on net early in Sunday’s victory at the New York Rangers, and made good Tuesday. Copp picked up the puck behind Montreal’s net and gave it to Kubalik. He had the puck to the left of the net, and timed a pass that Czarnik redirected from the low slot. Czarnik scored the game after fellow call-up Luff scored his first goal of the season.
Power play time
Coming out of the second period, the Wings had 30 shots on net — and 13 of those were during special teams play. They had six minutes of man-advantage time in the second period alone, with the Canadiens called for two of those penalties only four seconds apart. It wasn’t for lack of possession or movement on the puck; the Wings did a good job at both. Perron, Kubalik and Larkin all were part of chances, as was Raymond. The Wings battered Allen with one-timers, tip-in attempts and longer-range blasts, and got nothing for it.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.