(Photo: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
Victory looked like a sure thing for the Canadiens in the third period on Saturday with a three-goal lead over the Detroit Red Wings.
But that bullish feeling evaporated in a flash when the Red Wings scored twice in a 37-second span, then tied the game at 10:44 on a power-play goal by Nicklas Kronwell.
“We certainly lost some momentum…let them get back into the game, but we showed a lot of poise sticking with it and not getting rattled by it,” said Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, who scored twice–his 16 and 17th goals of the season–including the game winner.
Canadiens’ coach Michel Therrien called a timeout after the back-to-back goals by Detroit.
“He just said calm down and get back to what’s working,” said Gionta who was playing in his 300th game as a Hab.
“We weren’t pressuring the puck. We were second on the puck, took a couple of penalties for that reason and they got some momentum from it.”
The Red Wings outshot the Canadiens 37-26.
“We have to play much tighter hockey if we want to have long-term success,” Therrien said.
It’s something they’re paying attention to, said Therrien, adding they hadn’t really had a chance to practice lately, but will have a bit more time this week with two practices before leaving for Chicago.
Max Pacioretty scored his team-leading 39th goal of the season. Defenceman Mike Weaver picked up an assist on the goal, his fifth point in the past four games.
Weaver finished the game a plus-4.
“We like the way he plays. He’s got a lot of passion,” Therrien said of the 35-year-old Weaver, who the Habs acquired from the Florida Panthers last month before the trade deadline.
He’s a stay-at-home defenceman who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and is always well positioned, Therrien said.
You can hear what Gionta had to say here:
You can watch what Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had to say here:
And you can listen to Weaver here:
(Video: Brenda Branswell)