Wings offense sputters again in loss to Canadiens

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Montreal — If you’re a Michigan fan who also roots for the Red Wings, a former Michigan Stater ruined this game for you, too.

Jeff Petry, the former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Michigan State star (and former Tigers pitcher Dan Petry’s son) scored a third period power-play goal — Montreal’s second of the game — breaking a 1-1 tie and helping send the Canadiens to a 4-1 victory Saturday.

But it was a football-like collision earlier that really upset the Red Wings.

Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher scored his first goal of the season and tied the game 1-1 at 7:44 of the second period, while slamming into goalie Petr Mrazek.

BOX SCORE: Canadiens 4, Red Wings 1

Tomas Plekanec’s centering pass bounced off a hard-charging Gallagher and past Mrazek, and just before (or as) Gallagher was sliding into Mrazek.

The play went to review, where the league determined the puck deflected off Gallagher’s skate without a distinct kicking motion.

There was no mention of the collision with Mrazek.

“He (the referee) told me the puck went in earlier than the guy touched me,” Mrazek said. “I feel like the puck hit me in the pad and the guy hit me and went in (to the net) with me. Tough call.”

Coach Jeff Blashill didn’t specifically comment on the goal, saying it was an internal matter with the league.

“They decided it was a goal and I have no comment on that any further,” Blashill said.

Plekanec at 17:56 converted a Mike Green turnover deep in the zone to make it 3-1 and Brian Flynn added an empty-net goal for the Canadiens, who remain undefeated (6-0, 12 points).

It was the second consecutive loss for the Red Wings (3-2, 6 points), who allowed two Montreal power-play goals (on five opportunities) and went 0-for-3 on the power play themselves.

“To win against a team that’s undefeated and playing with a lot of confidence, they’re a real good team, we have to win the special teams battle and tonight we lost it,” Blashill said. “We have to go back and make sure we can improve.”

The Red Wings were out-shot 41-22, a second consecutive night they failed to have much of an offensive push.

“We have to do a better job of generating more shots,” Blashill said. “Giving up as many as we are, we’re spending too much time in our zone.”

Dylan Larkin and Gallagher (power play) traded second-period goals.

Larkin gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead with his second goal at 4:47.

Larkin centered a backhand attempt that trickled past Corey Price, giving Larkin at least one point in all five games this season.

“He has an impact in a positive fashion in every game,” Blashill said.

The goal came seconds after Mrazek made a fine save on Montreal’s Max Pacioretty keeping the game scoreless.

But the Canadiens came back on a power-play attempt shortly after and converted on Gallagher’s goal.

The Red Wings had several good scoring chances in the first period but were turned away by Price.

The best scoring chance was Gustav Nyquist going in alone on what essentially was a 2-on-0 break, but Price deflected the shot off his glove.

“We played a good game,” Zetterberg said. “Obviously 4-1 didn’t reflect the game it was. The power play hasn’t been good the last couple of games and we have to fix that.”