Tonight's game was an interesting and disappointing one to say the least.
The Canadiens dominated the first two periods, taking a 3-0 lead, before the Wings tied it up in the third. Montreal would later re-take the lead, and Detroit would find themselves without a point.
Here's what happened:
- Brendan Smith was very involved during the first period. He was hit early on and seemed to be in severe pain, but managed to get back out on the ice. He was definitely a bit riled up after the hit, and took a dumb cross-checking penalty a few minutes later.
- Despite letting in five goals, Jonas Gustavsson played relatively well for the Wings. Eight minutes into the first period, the Monster made a phenomenal save on Tomas Plekanec. The center cut through the Wings defense and nearly scored, had it not been for Gustavsson's astonishing leg-save.
- Detroit seemed to be the better team throughout the beginning of the first period. However, this advantage would soon come to an end after Michael Bournival scored to give the Canadiens the lead. The Wings were caught on a bad line-change while Gustavsson was creeping out of his net.
- The second period was a terrible one for the Wings. Despite having two powerplays, the Wings couldn't generate any significant offense, and instead allowed the Canadiens to further their lead.
- The first of Montreal's goals was scored by Max Pacioretty with 11 minutes left in the period. Pacioretty used his speed to beat both Kronwall and Lashoff before sniping the puck past Gustavsson. In all seriousness, I am beginning to question Brian Lashoff. His play recently was been mediocre, and I wouldn't mind if the Wings signed a veteran defenseman in free agency to replace him.
- The second goal followed a few minutes later. Brian Gionta scored with six minutes left to give the Canadiens the 3-0 lead.
- The third period would be one of sheer greatness and utter disappointment. Five minutes into the period, Pavel Datsyuk would score his first goal since December 30th, 2013. 30 seconds later, Luke Glendening would score the first goal of his NHL career. As you have most likely heard, Luke Glendening signed a 3-year extension with the Wings this morning. Talk about good timing, eh?
- Five minutes later, Niklas Kronwall would complete the Wings comeback with a beautiful powerplay goal.
- Despite the Wings' efforts, the comeback would not be enough. The Canadiens would score two goals within a two minute time-span to win the game 5-3. Brian Gionta scored the first goal with Alex Galchenyuk scoring the second one. The first goal was probably offside, although it was not called. The second goal should not have counted due to goaltender interference. However, the interference was never called on the ice, which prevented the referees from reviewing that aspect of the goal.
- Although I don't agree with the two non-calls on the last two Montreal goals, I don't think that you can blame the referees for our loss. Yes, those missed calls were bad, but those goals wouldn't have mattered if the Wings had scored a goal or two in the first two periods. The referees are great scapegoats, but they're not the reason why we lost.
Tonight's game was just one of those were nothing seemed to be going our way. Despite outshooting the Canadiens 37 - 26, the Wings could never generate any consistent offense. Combine this with a boatload of penalties and you find yourself in a bad situation.
While this loss is painful, I wouldn't be too worried. Assuming that the Wings don't completely collapse down the stretch, they should be able to still make the playoffs with ease. Hey, at least the Maple Leafs lost!
Next up for the Red Wings are Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
Let's Go Red Wings!