Detroit – The Red Wings’ three-game win streak came to end Tuesday but it didn’t sound as if the Wings were entirely disappointed.
Montreal used two Mike Hoffman goals and terrific penalty killing, along with a 2-1 shootout edge, to defeat the Red Wings 3-2.
Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen stopped 41 shots and was another significant factor in the Wings earning the one point in the standings, instead of two.
“Newsy (coach Derek Lalonde) said it after the game, if we play that game 10 times we could win eight games,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “We stuck with it and Allen made big saves. We stuck with it and got a point. It’s a little bit discouraging because we had a lot of chances on the power play. You’d like to see it go in, we had enough looks for it to go in, but some nights it’s not going in.”
The Wings were scoreless on seven power-play attempts.
Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki scored in the shootout for Montreal, while David Perron countered for the Wings, giving Montreal the extra point.
The loss ended a three-game win streak for the Wings (7-3-3) while Montreal ended a three-game losing streak (6-6-1).
“The process was good, five-on-five was good, Montreal is skilled and on the rush they don’t need much for offense,” Lalonde said. “We had them for only having two (scoring) chances in the first (period) and both ended up being in the back of the net. We hung in there.
“Allen was remarkable and it didn’t feel like we were going to get that tying goal. The fact we did, that’s pretty good and that’s a real good point. We’ll take it.”
The Red Wings had a chance to close the game out in regulation time.
Montreal’s Juraj Slafkovsky boarded Matt Luff at 14:28 in the third period, resulting in a five-minute Wings’ power play and a game misconduct for Slafkovsky, last summer’s No. 1 overall draft pick.
Luff, who has played well after being promoted from Grand Rapids, suffered a 16-stitch two weeks ago when a puck rolled up his stick and cut his lip. This injury, though, will likely keep Luff out for a month or two, though that’ll be determined Wednesday after more tests.
“As far as the hit, the right call was made,” Lalonde said. “It’s unfortunate, and the exact hit they’re trying to avoid. A player got seriously injured. The right call was made and everybody moves on.
“It’s unfortunate (for Luff), he’s been great for us. You feel for him, because those guys on that bubble of being everyday NHLers, he gets an extended look and he does real good. It’s unfortunate.”
But Elmer Sodeberlom’s interference penalty nullified that at 16:26 for two minutes, though the Wings had 62 seconds of power play time to end regulation time but didn’t mount much pressure.
The Wings had another 21-second power play to end overtime, but didn’t convert, ending an 0-for-7 night on the power play.
“We had our looks, we didn’t kill momentum when we went out there, we moved the puck around and we were in the zone and got to our spots and looks,” said Larkin, who was denied on a first period penalty shot. “It just didn’t go in tonight. We’ve scored big power play goals recently and tonight it just didn’t happen.”
Lucas Raymond tied the game with his fifth goal at 10:37 of the third period. Pius Suter found Raymond lurking in the slot, and Raymond fired a shot into a largely vacant net, with Allen over-committed to the other side.
Montreal had the identical formula for its first two goals.
Brendan Gallagher put a shot on net that goalie Ville Husso (31 saves) allowed a juicy rebound that Hoffman jumped all over. Hoffman scored his second and third goals of the season, the second goal, breaking a 1-1 tie and with just 16 seconds left in the first period.
Austin Czarnik (Washington Township) scored his first goal as a Red Wing in the first period. Czarnik skated unnoticed down the slot and one-timed a pass from Dominik Kubalik.
“Guys made a couple of strong plays down low and I was able to go down the middle and Kuby made a great pass,” Czarnik said. “It felt good but the end result isn’t what we wanted. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to get back in that win column.”