Wings rally to beat Montreal 4-3 in first-ever season sweep
The Red Wings have done at least one positive thing in this miserable 2019-20 season that the franchise had never done before in its long history: sweep a season series from the Montreal Canadiens.
Detroit scored three goals in the third period to rally from a two-goal deficit and defeat Montreal 4-3 on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena. It’s the fourth time in four games the Wings have defeated the Canadiens this season.
“Feels good to beat them four times. They’ve got a good goalie, a good team,” said Dylan Larkin, who had two assists. “That’s a team that the last couple of years beat us pretty bad.”
“We’ve played pretty good hockey against them, for whatever reason,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
Down 3-1 after two periods, Andreas Athanasiou (5:04) and veteran defenseman Mike Green (9:19 left) scored to tie the game. Then Athanasiou got the winner with 5:15 left when he scored from the right circle after taking a pass from Tyler Bertuzzi.
Athanasiou has five goals in his past six games – scoring two goals on two occasions – and 10 goals in 45 games in a season where he has not played well (minus-43) and been hampered by injuries.
“Just trying to work my way through tough times and, fortunately, I’m finding the net lately,” he said.
His first goal of the game, which made it 3-2, came off of an outstanding pass from defenseman Alex Biega that sent Athanasiou in clean from the left circle. He put a backhander past Carey Price as he crossed the top of the goal crease.
A pass from Anthony Mantha, who also had two assists, sent Green in alone from the right circle. He actually fanned on the shot, but that surprised Price and the bouncing shot trickled through his goal pads to tie it 3-3.
“I guess I’m lucky I fanned on it,” Green said. “ … With Cary, he probably knew where I was going. Good thing I flubbed it and I’ll take it.”
The goal was also a double personal milestone for Green, the 150th goal and 500th point of his career.
“Obviously, it’s an honor to set the marks, but I’ve got to thank all the guys along the way,” Green said.
It was his third goal of the season and first in 21 games, sating back to Dec. 14 in Montreal in another of the wins against the Canadiens.
“I thought we played well tonight,” Green said. “We did the small things.”
Montreal led 2-0 after the first period on a goal by Nate Thompson (5:59) that resulted from Athanasiou’s giveaway just inside the Red Wings’ blue line and from Ann Arbor native Jeff Petry’s power-play goal (3:57 left in the first).
Robby Fabbri put Detroit on the board with his 13th goal, 1:24 into the second period. But Nick Suzuki’s power-play goal with 7:20 left in the middle period restored the Canadiens’ two-goal lead at 3-1.
Larkin was not worried.
“Even when it was 3-1, I felt we had the game under control,” he said.
Said Blashill: “I thought we dug in in the second. I didn’t think we were good enough in the first…Then we kind of stayed on it going into the third.
“I was real proud of our guys for digging in. I thought a number of guys played really well as the game went along.”
Defenseman Filip Hronek did not play after being hit in the head with a puck during Sunday’s 5-1 loss in Pittsburgh. He is day-to-day, according to Blashill.