The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t hold onto a 2-0 lead Saturday night but still managed to earn a 3-2 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Montreal forward Michael Cammalleri scored twice in the third period to erase Detroit’s lead and force overtime. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the tiebreaker to give the Red Wings the win.
Detroit had taken the lead in a bizarre first period that saw twelve minutes of penalties called on the Canadiens and only two on the Wings.
The first three of those calls came at the same time to Montreal forward Georges Laraque. Laraque high sticked Darren Helm at one end of the ice, drawing blood. Before the play was over he stuck his leg out for a knee-on-knee hit to Niklas Kronwall at the opposite blue line.
Kronwall had to be helped off the ice and did not return.
Brad Stuart got the Red Wings on the board during the fourth minute of the six-minute power play, blasting a shot from just inside the blue line that powered its way past Montreal goalie Carey Price.
During the time of the third Laraque penalty, Canadiens defender Paul Mara went off for cross-checking Tomas Holmstrom in front of Price. Just as the ensuing five-on-three expired Detroit tallied again when Brian Rafalski sent a shot intentionally wide for Datsyuk to tip in from the side of the net.
After a scoreless second period, Cammalleri scored just nine seconds into the third to pull the Canadiens within a goal, snapping a shot from the high slot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.
At 8:45 of the period Andrei Kostitsyn picked off a Nicklas Lidstrom pass around the boards and fed Cammalleri for a tap-in from the edge of the crease.
In the shootout, Datsyuk and Zetterberg both deked to score on Price while Howard stopped Cammalleri and and Tomas Plekanec hit a post.
The Red Wings finished the night two-for-seven on the power play while the Canadiens were scoreless on their one try with the extra attacker.
Howard made 16 saves on 18 shots against. Price stopped 32 of 34 Detroit chances.
Kronwall is expected to miss at least two weeks with an MCL injury but further tests will be necessary… The Canadiens played in blue sweaters with a white C and white trim, throwbacks to their first year of existence in the National Hockey Association.