DETROIT (AP)Dylan Larkin scored the game-winning goal in overtime – his second goal of the night – to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Larkin took a puck coming off the boards from Lucas Raymond, who was credited with an assist, and scored top shelf to goalie Sam Montembeault’s stick side. It was his seventh of the season, and gave him 300 career points.
”It popped right out to me and I saw him off the net,” Larkin said, ”and just tapped it in.”
Detroit goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves.
”I thought Ned was excellent,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. ”The puck stuck to him. That was his best game, I think. The puck stuck to him a ton. He was able to control all those rebounds. That was critical for us.”
Montreal saw goals from Ryan Poehling and Chris Wideman. Goalie Jake Allen had eight saves before he was knocked out of the game late in the first period because of a collision with Larkin. Sam Montembeault took over and made 22 saves.
Poehling struck first at 4:39 of the first period, but Larkin and Pius Suter erased the deficit with goals that were less than a minute apart.
”Those two goals changed the momentum,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said. ”That gave them life and put us on our heels. I really liked how we came out for the third.”
Montembault added: ”Obviously, I didn’t want to give up two quick goals like that, but once it happened, I couldn’t do anything about it. I just had to try to get myself into the game. I thought I made some nice saves and we did a good job of getting back into the game.”
Larkin’s first goal came on a shot from the left corner despite having very little net to shoot at from an angle, but found the upper right corner.
”I like to shoot from off angles and odd angles,” Larkin said. ”On the first one, I saw an opening. He was down and I saw the top of the net and I shot it.”
The Canadiens tied it up at 2 at 2:33 of the third period on Wideman’s second goal of the season. Left wing Artturi Lehkonen fed Wideman with a no-look, back-handed pass that went through the legs of Detroit defenseman Mark Staal.
Detroit fans tossing an octopus onto the ice is a tradition generally associated with the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, one fan was so moved by Larkin’s first goal that he flung the cephalopod over the glass, necessitating a brief delay to remove it.
Canadiens: Allen absorbed a hit from Larkin toward the end of the first period, when Larkin lost his balance while cruising in on goal with defenseman Jeff Petry playing him tightly. Larkin dislodged the goal pipes and net during the high-impact collision.
Larkin appeared shaken up and sat out the rest of the period on the bench before returning.
Allen stayed out. Larkin said he was worried about Allen: ”I was at full speed and a little push and I can’t do anything. It was a tough play and I feel real bad about it.”
Allen (2.86 goals-against average, .902 save percentage) started all but two of Montreal’s 16 games. Montembeault (3.52 GAA, .887) entered his third game of the season.
The Canadiens are thin at goalie position. They haven’t yet had the services of netminder Carey Price, who helped lead them to the 2021 Stanley Cup finals. Price five weeks ago voluntarily entered the NHL’s player assistance program and returned to the team last weekend after satisfying the program’s 30-day minimum, but no date has been set for him to resume game action.
Red Wings: Mitchell Stephens, a fourth-line center with four assists, left the game with what a team spokesman described as a lower body injury and did not return.
Canadiens: Visit Boston on Sunday night.
Red Wings: Visit Columbus on Monday night.
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