A first period goal by Jiri Hudler was all the Detroit Red Wings needed to defeat the Montreal Canadiens Monday night in a rare matchup between the two Original Six teams. Goaltender Dominik Hasek stopped all 23 shots he faced to earn his sixth shutout of the season as the Red Wings picked up a 2-0 win.
Detroit and Montreal – two of the six oldest teams in the NHL – had not faced each other since October 20, 2003, when the Red Wings visited the Canadiens and picked up a 2-1 loss.
Hudler’s goal at 9:18 of the opening period was the difference-maker. Skating untouched down the left wing boards into the Montreal zone, Hudler put a quick shot over netminder David Aebischer’s shoulder and into the far corner of the net.
There would be no further scoring until a similar goal by Pavel Datsyuk from the opposite side of the ice with 5:19 remaining in regulation. Datsuyk’s shot went under Aebischer’s arm, catching the mesh of his jersey but not slowing enough to stay out of the net.
Aebischer made 37 saves on 39 shots in net for the Habs, who were unable to score on five power play opportunities throughout the game.
Neither of Detroit’s goals came on either of their two chances with the extra attacker.
The Red Wings next game will be against the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators. With a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames Monday night, the Predators lead the Red Wings by four points in the standings.
The shutout was the 74th of Hasek’s career… Defenseman Chris Chelios passed Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman on the NHL’s all-time games played list, participating in his 1,515th career game… Mathieu Schneider missed his fourth game with a strained knee ligament… Former Red Wing Mathieu Dandenault made his first appearance in Detroit since leaving the team to join his hometown Canadiens in 2005.