Detroit — The fans at Little Caesars Arena did a great job singing the Canadian national anthem Tuesday, and at the end of the night they were singing the Red Wings' praises for one of the few occasions this season.
Filip Zadina's goal at 16 minutes, 8 seconds of the third period broke a tie and sent the Wings to a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Adam Erne made a fine centering pass to Zadina in the slot, and Zadina quickly snapped his fifth goal past goalie Charlie Lindgren.
“It means a lot for me,” Zadina said. “It was the best goal so far. We needed a win as a team so bad. We played real strong as a team, played smart, and it was awesome.”
Goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 23 shots to preserve his — and the Wings' — third victory over Montreal this season. Before the season began, the Wings had lost eight consecutive games against Montreal.
That's certainly changed this season, regardless of how the Wings' season (11-30-3) has gone.
“I don’t know why we’re 3-0 against Montreal but I’m more happy with the performance,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We did a lot of good things, we didn’t beat ourselves, we played more efficient overall.”
But back to the anthem malfunction.
Singer Karen Newman’s microphone didn’t work as Newman was about to do the Canadian anthem, so the crowd joined in and did a wonderful rendition.
By the end, the cheering was also for the Wings.
Frans Nielsen scored his second goal of the third period — and third of what's been a miserable season — tying the score 3-3 at 11:19. Mike Green found Nielsen alone, and Nielsen scored a breakaway goal, sliding the puck around Lindgren.
Montreal had just taken a lead thanks to typical bad Wings luck. Montreal defenseman Victor Mete, off a rush, directed a pass that ricocheted off Filip Hronek's skate in the slot, giving Montreal a 3-2 lead at 6:13.
But instead of the Wings falling apart, as they’ve often done this season, they stayed sharp and roared back.
“It’s easy to say after a win, but I truly believe we worked hard out there tonight,” Nielsen said. “Every time we got the puck we went north and tried to play fast and for the most part, everything they got out there, they had to work for. We didn’t give them too much for free.
“We have to stay with that.”
Blashill has been pleased with the Wings’ ability to get back up on a game-to-game basis — it’s the ability to rebound during the game that’s been more of an issue.
“There’s been certain times we’ve melted and we’ve been way better of it lately,” Blashill said. “We just have to understand if we get knocked down, to get back up and that’s the key to success in life. We did a good job of it in the game tonight.
“We were playing pretty good and they scored the go-ahead goal out of nowhere and we just kept going. We have to keep grinding and playing with that same mentality.”
Robby Fabbri opened the third-period explosion with his 11th goal, tying the score at 2.
Artturi Lehkonen (short-handed) and Nick Suzuki (power play) had the other Montreal goals.