(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to win consecutive games
for the first time in a month when they host the Montreal Canadiens in
Friday's clash between Original Six and Atlantic Division rivals.
The Red Wings won for the second time in three games thanks to Wednesday's 5-4
shootout win over visiting Chicago. Detroit improved to 2-1-0 on a five-game
homestand, earning both of its wins in shootouts.
A win on Friday would give Detroit its first two-game win streak since posting
victories over Calgary and Toronto on Dec. 19 and 21, respectively.
Darren Helm scored the game-winner in the sixth round of Wednesday's shootout
win at Joe Louis Arena.
After Tomas Tatar came up empty to open the shootout, Jonathan Toews, Patrick
Eaves, Patrick Sharp and Todd Bertuzzi each scored in succession to keep it
going. Following misses from the next five shooters, Helm ripped a quick shot
under Corey Crawford's pads and Jonas Gustavsson denied Andrew Shaw at the
other end to secure the victory for the Red Wings.
"They're a great team and we played well right from the start," Eaves said.
"We needed these two points worse than they (did). It's huge for us and
hopefully it will springboard us to something else."
Gustav Nyquist notched a goal and an assist, while Eaves, Tatar and Kyle
Quincey each scored once for the Red Wings. Gustavsson, who will fill in as
Detroit's No. 1 in the absence of Jimmy Howard, stopped 31 shots in the
Howard expects to be out a week after injuring his knee in Monday's 4-1 loss
against St. Louis. The goaltender is just one of many Detroit players dealing
with injuries at the moment. Forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Daniel
Alfredsson (back), Joakim Andersson (lower body), Johan Franzen (head), Corey
Emmerton (finger) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery) are also sidelined
for the Red Wings.
Detroit is 8-11-7 as the host this season and will close its homestand Sunday
This evening's test marks the first meeting between the Canadiens and Red
Wings in 2013-14. The clubs are old rivals, but are now in the same division
thanks to the NHL's realignment plan, which moved Detroit from the Western
Conference's Central Division to the Atlantic in the East.
Detroit has claimed seven of the past 11 in this series overall and the
Canadiens have lost eight of their past 10 in the Motor City. Montreal enters
Friday's test -- the first of four scheduled meetings this season between the
Habs and Wings -- five points ahead of Detroit in the division standings.
The Red Wings are currently two points out of the final playoff spot in the
Montreal has lost two straight and three of its last four games and the club
has been outscored by a 10-4 margin over its last two games. After getting
dealt a 5-3 setback Saturday in Toronto, the Habs fell to 1-2-0 on a four-game
road trip with Wednesday's 5-1 blowout loss at Pittsburgh.
Jussi Jokinen lit the lamp twice to lead the Pens in Wednesday's rout.
Rene Bourque had Montreal's lone goal, while Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust
picked up the assists.
Carey Price allowed all five goals on 21 shots before being pulled late in the
second period. Peter Budaj entered in relief and stopped all 10 shots fired
"We lost the game; that's the key for me. That's what's disappointing for us.
We didn't play a good game and they were the better team," Budaj said.
Price will get the start on Friday and is 2-2-1 with a 2.36 goals against
average against the Red Wings in his career.
Montreal is 13-10-2 as the road team this season. The club will begin a brief
two-game homestand tomorrow against the Washington Capitals.
The Sports Network