The beat goes on
For the first time this season, the Canadiens have dropped three straight games in regulation time.
Detroit jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Henrik Zetterberg and Riley Sheahan.
AfterBrendan Gallagher scored on a second-period power play, Niklas Kronwall restored the Red Wings' two-goal advantage heading into the third.
With the Canadiens pressing late in the game, Detroit got a 3-on-1 break and Zetterberg fed Gustav Nyquist for the insurance goal.
The home team was without Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss.
It didn't matter.
The Canadiens had a 31-26 shot advantage.
That didn't matter either.
Gustav Nyquist, completing a 3-on-1 break, scored the only goal of the third period.
Canadiens outshot the Wings 9-5.
After Riley Sheahan took advantage of an Alexei Emelin misplay to blast a laser past Carey Price, the indefatigable Brendan Gallagher got the Canadiens back into the game, tapping his own rebound past Jonas Gustavsson on a power play. It was Lil' Poison's 13th, seven on the PP.
Momentum seemed to have shifted when the Tomas Plekanec line had a dominant shift in the Detroit zone.
But then shoddy zone coverage by the David Desharnais line opened a nice shooting lane for Niklas Kronwall and it was 3-1.
It could be worse. Price made brilliant saves on Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith.
Wings had a 13-9 shot advantage.
Scoring drought continues
The Canadiens had 13 shots on Jonas Gustavsson.
He saw and stopped all of them.
With Brendan Gallagher and Akexei Emelin in the penalty box, Dan Cleary did his best Tomas Holmstrom impresion, parking in Carey Price's crease and blocking his view of a Henrik Zetterberg long shot.
The goal was one of eight shots by the home team.
The second period will begin with Brandon Prust in the penalty box.
Long time no Joe
Let's hope the Canadiens, who haven't visited Detroit since Dec. 10, 2010, remember where the bathrooms are in the Joe Louis Arena.
Travis Moen opened the scoring that night, with assists by Mike Cammalleri and Jeff Halpern. Benoit Pouliot got the other Canadiens' goal in a 4-2 loss.
The Canadiens are clinging to third place in the Atlantic Division. Their closest pursuers, the Leafs, were smoked 7-1 in Dallas Thursday night.
But the playoff race is tightening.
And the Red Wings, sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference, need points.