Smith, Bertuzzi injured in Red Wings' loss
Detroit — Not many teams have been able to get pucks past Montreal goalie Carey Price this season.
The Red Wings just got one Saturday, and that wasn’t good enough.
Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk scored at 3:37 of overtime — converting a 2-on-1 rush with Alex Radulov — giving the Canadiens an entertaining, 2-1 victory over the Red Wings.
The Red Wings had a power play in overtime, but couldn’t beat Price (32 saves), who has arguably been the league’s most player through a quarter of the season.
The Red Wings (10-10-2) saw their two-game winning streak end, while Montreal improved its league-best 16-4-2 record.
“Of the (last) three games this might have been one of our best,” said Justin Abdelkader, who scored the Red Wings goal. “Montreal, you have to give them credit, they’re a very good team. There’s a reason they're at the top of the standings.
“Price is real good in net, but it’s a team that skates real well and make it hard on you. Price came up with big saves.”
The Red Wings lost the game and lost two players to apparent knee injuries.
Brendan Smith and Tyler Bertuzzi both left in the second period and didn’t return.
General manager Ken Holland said both will have further tests in the next day or two but are expected to miss games.
“They both will be out a while,” Holland said. “But (we’re) trying to determine what a while is.”
Dylan Larkin left momentarily in the third period after getting hit by Montreal’s Alexei Emelin along the boards with about eight minutes left in the game.
Larkin’s knee bucked when he absorbed the hit, and he was in obvious pain and unable to put much pressure on the leg as he went to the locker room.
But Larkin returned a couple minutes later.
Both Smith and Bertuzzi were hurt in the second period.
Smith was injured on an unintentional knee-on-knee collision with Montreal’s Phillip Danault with 8 minutes left in the period.
Smith’s right knee bent inward and he clutched it after falling to the ice. He put no pressure on it while skating off the ice, and went straight to the locker room.
Bertuzzi absorbed a hit from Emelin and crashed into the boards, his left knee (or leg) stretching awkwardly.
Bertuzzi, too, couldn’t put any weight on his leg.
Emelin’s hit drew the anger of Red Wings players.
“I just saw it live (but) it looked a little dangerous,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “You know, sometimes you have to have respect for the other players on the ice and he didn’t look like he had it there.”
Abdelkader’s goal at 3:20 of the third period gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.
Abdelkader took a pass from Frans Nielsen and wristed a shot that glanced off the stick of Canadiens defenseman Greg Pateryn and sailed past Price, Abdelkader’s fourth goal.
But Montreal tied it on Brendan Gallagher’s tip in front of goaltender Petr Mrazek at 11:05, Gallagher redirecting a pass from Tomas Plekanec.
Mrazek stopped 22 shots in his first start since reclaiming the starter’s job from Jimmy Howard (groin).
“Petr was very good, he got better as the game went along,” Blashill said. “It was a real good step for him.
“Our guys played a pretty good game. We won ugly (Wednesday in Buffalo), which you have to do when you’re coming out of a slump, and last night (in New Jersey) we took a real step forward and we continued that step tonight. We weren’t perfect but I’m yet to see a perfect hockey game.
“We obviously don’t like the result but we took steps forward.”