Montreal Canadiens claim sixth straight win as record streak continues

Montreal Canadiens claim sixth straight win as record streak continues

Main pic: Montreal Canadiens’ Alexander Semin, right, collides with Detroit Red Wings’ Danny Dekeyser during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

Petry, Gallagher goals lift Canadiens to sixth straight win 4-1 over Red Wings

MONTREAL — Jeff Petry’s game-winning goal was special in three ways.

It helped stretch the Montreal Canadiens’ team-record winning streak to start a season to six games.

It was the first goal scored by a Canadiens defenceman this season.

And it came against Detroit, where he grew up as the son of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry.

“It’s always nice when you can score a big goal and it just adds a little bit being against that team,” Petry said after the Canadiens posted a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings on Saturday night.

Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Flynn, into an empty net with one second remaining, also scored for Montreal (6-0-0), which last went unbeaten in its first six games in 1977-78 (5-0-1).

Rookie Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit (3-2-0), which was coming off a 5-3 loss to Carolina on Friday night.

“We knew they played last night so we wanted to get pucks behind them and wear them out,” said Petry.

Montreal had a 41-22 edge in shots on Detroit and may have scored more if not for the sharp play by goalie Petr Mrazek, who faced 20 alone in the third period.

The Canadiens entered the game only 2-for-21 on the power play, and worked on their man advantage play during their morning skate. They responded with two power-play goals.

“To win on the road against a team that’s undefeated and is playing with a lot of confidence, we have to win the special teams battle and tonight we lost it,” said Detroit coach Jeff Blashill. “We have to continue to improve on both the power play and the penalty kill.”

Larkin, who extended his points streak to start his career to five games, opened the scoring 4:47 into the second frame when he flipped a backhander toward the net and saw it sneak past Carey Price’s pad on the near side.

It was the first time this season Montreal trailed in a game, but that didn’t last long.

Gallagher’s tying goal on a power play at 7:44 needed video review. A cross-ice pass from Plekanec was cleared by Kyle Quincey into the on-rushing Gallagher’s skates and went in just as the Canadiens winger slid into Mrazek and the net. The NHL situation room ruled it counted because he didn’t direct the puck in with a skate.

“I’ve got no comment on that goal or the process,” said Blashill.

“Obviously it wasn’t the prettiest of goals but I’ll certainly take it,” said Gallagher. “It wasn’t quite the way we drew it up but to get a power-play goal after we talked about it was nice.”

A Jonathan Ericsson tripping call on David Desharnais put Montreal on a power play and Petry got his first of the season 6:32 into the third on a blast from the point with Desharnais parked in front of Mrazek.

Plekanec, who signed a two-year US$12 million contract extension on Friday, scored his fifth of the season at 17:56 by tipping in a pass from Gallagher, who stripped the puck from Mike Green in the Detroit zone.

The Red Wings had centre Darren Helm (concussion) and defenceman Danny Dekeyser (foot) back from injuries to make their season debut.

Before the game, referee Marc Joanette was honoured in an on-ice ceremony for officiating his 1,000th NHL game.

The Canadiens will try to stretch their winning run to seven games Tuesday at home against St. Louis.

“We don’t want to talk about the streak,” said coach Michel Therrien. “We only want to talk about our next game.”

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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