DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard ended the Detroit Red Wings’ losing streak.
Datsyuk had a goal and an assist and Howard made 36 saves to help Detroit beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Friday night in the matchup between Original Six rivals.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall and Patrick Eaves also scored to help the Red Wings snapped their losing streak at three. Howard was outstanding in the third period, stopping 18 of 19 shots. The biggest was a spectacular glove save while flat on his back on P.K. Subban’s shot off a rebound with 2:39 left.
“It was just fluttering. He’s a good goaltender. If he saw it, he was going to stop it,” Subban said. “If I would have gotten more wood on it, maybe he wouldn’t have seen it and it might’ve went in. But I was only able to chip it with one hand.”
Howard also outduelled Montreal’s Carey Price, who leads NHL goalies with 17 wins. Howard is second with 16.
“It’s a pride thing. It doesn’t matter who is a the other end, I don’t want to lose. I want to play my best,” Howard said. “I don’t think it has anything to do if it’s the (Columbus Blue Jackets’) Steve Mason or Carey Price. I pride myself being the best every single day.”
Travis Moen and Benoit Pouliot scored for Montreal. Price stopped 28 shots.
“We had some good opportunities and didn’t capitalize on them,” Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said.
The Montreal fans also urged on Price with shouts of “Carey! Carey!” after a couple of sequences.
“The atmosphere was great,” Howard said. “The one thing that really fired me up was hearing the Habs fans chanting Carey Price’s name in our building. I thought that was a little much and it definitely fired me up.”
Pouliot pulled Montreal to 3-2 at 7:43 of the third period on a slap shot from the high slot area for his seventh goal.
“I thought we were pretty good for two periods and they were better for the third period,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Eaves got an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Detroit took a 3-1 lead with two goals in the second period.
Kronwall made it 2-1 at 3:48 when he beat Price from the slot for Kronwall’s sixth goal. Danny Cleary sent a pass to Kronwall while Cleary was on his knees in the right circle.
Datsyuk’s 10th goal gave the Red Wings a two-goal lead with 4:29 left in the second. He took a pass from Jonathan Ericsson, who came out of the penalty box seconds earlier, in the neutral zone, cut in from the right side and beat Price with a backhander high on the short side.
Lidstrom tied it 1-1 with 1.2 seconds left in the first period on a 5-on-3 power play. He poked in a pass from Tomas Holmstrom after Josh Georges’ turnover in the left corner.
“I knew it was only a matter of seconds left and Homer had the puck and they’re putting pressure on him and they didn’t have anyone in front,” Lidstrom said. “I tried to sneak in behind their forward out front and hoping a pass would come out to me.”
The goal was upheld by video review.
“I didn’t know if it counted. I didn’t hear the buzzer go off,” Lidstrom said.
Moen opened the scoring for Montreal with 8:35 left in the opening period, banking a shot in off of Howard’s leg from behind the net.
NOTES: Montreal C Scott Gomez didn’t play because of a lower-body injury. … Subban was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the previous three games.