'That was a goalie win': Fabbri, Husso star in OT as Wings edge Montreal, 4-3
Montreal − The Red Wings have been talking much recently about stringing some victories together.
To get into the playoffs, to stay within distance of the playoffs, they're going to have to pile victories together post-All-Star break. No better way to begin a streak like that this week, on the Fathers' Trip, and go into a lengthy break on a positive note.
They made a positive step Thursday defeating Montreal 4-3 in overtime.
Robby Fabbri scored at 2 minutes, 36 seconds of overtime, converting an odd-man rush feed from Michael Rasmussen.
"We smell it, we're right there, and we're going to keep pushing until the end," Fabbri said. "In order to keep it close we have to get on a run and we got a good start here. But no one is satisfied in here and we have a long way to go."
Goaltender Ville Husso preserved the victory, with several huge saves, including stopping Rem Pitlick on a breakaway in overtime, and Mike Matheson off a rush with 0.01 seconds left in regulation time.
Rasmussen, Jonatan Berggren (power play) and Oskar Sundqvist had the Wings' goals, as the Wings won their third game in five (3-1-1).
"Awesome, that was a goalie win," coach Derek Lalonde said. "He didn't love all three of those goals (allowed) but it was us as a team not giving up a ton of offense but giving up easy offense. Then, those (saves) in the end of the period and overtime were game savers."
BOX SCORE: Red Wings 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)
Husso didn't have a favorite save, but was simply excited about the victory.
"They're all timing saves," said Husso of his late-game stops. "Tie game, it's trying to keep the focus on the next shot and go from there."
The Wings (21-18-8) won their second consecutive overtime game, despite again having some untimely defensive mishaps.
Allowing a late second-period goal, tying the game 3-3, was a particular stinger.
"I didn't like the way we managed some of our game," Lalonde said. "We didn't give up a ton of offense but we gave up some easy offense. Really disappointing goal at the end of the second period. We still have a lot of immaturity with managing certain situations."
Rafael Harvey-Pinard had two Montreal goals (one shorthanded) and Michael Pezzetta added another, as the Canadiens' fourth line did substantial offensive damage. Harvey-Pinard has been a revelation for Montreal, in only his fifth NHL game. He scored his second and third goals, both times erasing Wings' leads in the second period.
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"That line, with all the talented young players on both teams, when that line is the best line it goes to show you how effort and will means in our sport," Lalonde said.
Three times the Wings had one-goal leads, and three times Montreal came back to tie.
The shorthanded goal tied the game 2-2, at 6:57, shortly after Berggren scored his eighth goal putting in a loose puck on the power play at 3:56.
Sundqvist regained the lead 3-2 for the Wings, deflecting a Dominik Kubalik shot for Sundqvist's seventh goal, at 13:30.
But Harvey-Pinard again proved to be a thorn, getting behind the Wings' defense and backhanding a shot past goaltender Ville Husso.
Rasmussen opened the Wings' scoring with his ninth goal, just 3:54 into the game.
Rasmussen carried the puck into the slot, then picked a corner on goaltender Jake Allen. Rasmussen then fed Fabbri on the game-winner in overtime.
"That's a confident goal on the rush," said Lalonde of Rasmussen carrying the puck. "Back door tap in, but it's a huge credit to him (Rasmussen)."
Now, the Wings have an opportunity to head into the All Star break with six of a possible six points with a victory on Long Island.
"We had a goal of six points on this last stretch with the dads' trip," Lalonde said. "But it's more bigger picture. We're pushing to play significant games. We have one now, so I'm excited to see how our guys handle it."