Detroit Red Wings continue early winning ways with 4-2 victory at Montreal
MONTREAL (AP) — Claude Julien feels his Montreal Canadiens have simply not been sharp enough to start the season.
The Canadiens lost 4-2 to the Detroit Red Wings in their home opener on Thursday night, Montreal’s third defeat in a week.
“We have to find that sharpness if we’re going to win some hockey games,” Julien said. “Physically, we need a break. Mentally, we need to sharpen up. We’ll do a little bit of video tomorrow and see if we can’t sharpen the guys up a little bit.
“They (Detroit) forced errors and took advantage of them. We’re making a lot of mistakes and they’re costing us.”
Anthony Mantha scored his sixth goal of the season and Detroit snapped a nine-game losing streak against Montreal.
“Just my confidence right now,” said Mantha, trying to explain his early-season success. “My linemates are feeding me properly and right now it’s going in so I just need to keep shooting.
“Obviously they had our number,” said Mantha, who is the grandson of Canadiens great Andre Pronovost. “We came out strong and Bernier played unreal in net. We’re happy about our performance.”
Darren Helm, Tyler Bertuzzi and Luke Glendenning also scored for the Red Wings, who’ve won three of four so far.
Defenseman Danny Dekeyser had two assists and Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves on 35 shots.
Joel Armia and Max Domi scored for the Canadiens, who were playing the second game of a back-to-back following a 5-4 overtime loss in Buffalo. Carey Price stopped 30 of 33 shots.
Detroit had not won in regulation time in Montreal since 2007.
With the score tied 2-2 in the second period, Mantha scored the eventual winner on the power play at 15:38.
Helm nearly made it 4-2 with three minutes left in the game, but Price stopped him on the breakaway. Glendenning put the contest away with an empty-net goal with 58 seconds remaining.
The Canadiens struggled to clear their own end and it cost them.
Helm opened the scoring with his first goal of the season at 13:33 of the first. After Price misplayed the puck behind his net, Helm scored on a rebound to give Detroit the lead.
A faceoff win by Phillip Danault in the offensive zone led to Armia’s equalizer with 53 seconds left in the period. The Finnish winger has three goals in his last two games.
The Red Wings regained the lead 30 seconds later when Bertuzzi scored his third of the year on a nice feed from Dylan Larkin behind the red line.