After a less-than-impressive performance against the New Jersey Devils the night before, the Montreal Canadiens bounced back with a 8-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night. Andrew Shaw picked up a hat trick, Max Domi had five points, and 10 other Canadiens players got on the board in the victory.
Tomas Tatar wasted no time frustrating his former team by getting the Canadiens on the board a little over six minutes into the game. Jordie Benn sprung Tatar with a breakaway pass from the defensive zone and through the puck was bouncing, Tatar was able to get it under control and deke out Jimmy Howard for his 22nd tally of the season.
The Canadiens looked better defensively than they did the night before as more than halfway through the first period they had only allowed one shot on Carey Price, who made 28 saves in Montreal’s victory.
The rest of the period, and the rest of the game, was similar to how it started for the Canadiens: dominant. Though the opening frame ended with Montreal only up by one, the final shot count was 10-5 and the Canadiens controlled the faceoff circle at an 80% efficiency.
After killing off a penalty that had carried over from the opening frame, the Canadiens completely took over the game. They doubled their lead early in the second period as Brett Kulak missed a bouncing pass from Max Domi but Andrew Shaw did not, which gave Shaw his 14th of the season. The one-timer went over the shoulder of Howard just 2:22 into the period and the secondary assist on the play went to Jonathan Drouin, who forced the turnover that led to the goal.
After the Canadiens entered the offensive zone with speed about halfway through the period and forced the Detroit defencemen to back up in front of their goaltender, Brendan Gallagher snuck as close as he could to the net and took advantage of Howard being screened to score his 27th of the season.
A scoring frenzy picked up after Gallagher’s goal with five more being scored in the second half of the period, of which four were in favour of the Canadiens. Less than three minutes after Gallagher’s goal, the Canadiens put the game officially out of reach for the Red Wings as Max Domi’s snipe made it 4-0, and Joel Armia’s one-timer shortly afterward made it 5-0 Montreal.
Detroit’s lone goal came at the 18:16 mark of the period and was purely a lucky one, as the puck deflected multiple times in front of Price and eventually landed right on the stick of Anthony Mantha, who had the empty net in front of him to score his 16th of the season.
Even though the second period was nearing its end, the Canadiens weren’t done scoring. Shaw managed to sneak his second of the game by Howard in the final minute of play.
The six goals against the Red Wings in 40 minutes meant that Howard was done for the night, and Jonathan Bernier led his teammates onto the ice to start the third.
The change in goaltending didn’t stop the Canadiens’ momentum, however, and Domi scored his second of the night two minutes in on his backhand.
Shaw completed his hat trick and scored the eighth and final goal for the Canadiens in the last few minutes of the third, sending the Canadiens into their two days off on a positive note.
When that brief rest comes to an end, they’ll head to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers, hoping to keep momentum going for a crucial matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins the next night.