Dominik Hasek made 23 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and seventh all time against the Canadiens. Hasek also brought his goals against average down to a league best 1.98. Canadiens goaltender David Aebischer allowed two goals on 39 Detroit shots. Aebischer has now lost 5 consecutive games against Detroit.
Jiri Hudler played the fewest minutes of all of the Red Wings but earned the opening goal in the games 10th minute. Hudler scored on a rising slap shot that beat Aebischer over his left shoulder from the top of the right circle. Chris Chelois picked up the sole assist.
The second period was played at a tentatively slow pace as neither team seemed wiling to create or give up any offensive chances. Montreal had three second period power plays but were thwarted each time by aggressive Detroit penalty killing. Much of the Wings penalty kill was focused on Sheldon Souray who was held to just one shot all night.
The third period saw a philosophy change for the Canadiens as they pressed hard with many defenseman jumping into the rush to create a few extra chances. Guillaume Latendresse had the best chance for the Canadiens when he hit the goal post just a 1:54 into the final period. Mike Johnson also had a glorious chances with Hasek lying on his back in the crease but Johnson was unable to raise the puck and just slid the puck under Hasek’s’ back.
Game notes: Radek Bonk missed his 5th consecutive game with a (neck/ear)injury and Steve Begin has now been out since December 9th with back and rib problems. Sergei Samsonov was benched in the 2nd period, and after the game Guy Carbonneau stated that Samsonov would be going down most likely meaning a demotion down the line-up or possibly a game up in the press box.
1. Dominik Hasek- made the key saves to keep his team in the game and a 23 save shutout is not the least amount of work he has done for one this year or in his career.
2. Henrik Zetterberg- had an assist, led all forwards in ice time and was a +1.
3. Nicklas Lidstrom- a team best +2 while playing over 28 minutes.
1. Tonight’s game was actually the 2nd highest amount of shots Hasek has faced in a game where he recorded a shutout this season. His previous save amounts this season are (27, 21, 20, 16 and 13) in games which he has earned a shutout.
2. Saku Koivu has just 2 assists in his last six games and is a -6 in that same time frame.
3. Montreal has lost 16 games this season, the first 8 loses came after their 26th game. But their last 8 took just 12 opportunities.
4. The Habs have now lost five consecutive games when not scoring a power play goal letting their record in such games drop to 6-9-3.