Red Wings come up empty against Canadiens — pad tight 1-0 lead with two empty-netters


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DETROIT — It would be a mistake to describe Friday’s game between the Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings as a goaltending duel.

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While Jake Allen and the Red Wings’ Ville Husso went unblemished for two periods, it was Allen who had the tougher task in terms of both quantity and quality.

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Allen made 36 saves, which would be a pretty good night’s work under any circumstances, before Elmer Soderblom gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 2:33 of the third period. Allen stopped Michael Rasmussen on a wraparound attempt, but the rebound came out to Soderblom in the slot and he buried it for his first NHL goal.

That would stand up as the only goal of the game until Rasmussen added an empty-netter with 61 seconds remaining and Olli Maatta added a second one 13 seconds later to give Detroit a 3-0 win in its season opener.

Allen would finish with 37 saves as the Red Wings eased up on the gas after the goal and concentrated on protecting their slim lead. Husso made 29 saves for the shutout.

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The penalty-killers on both sides had a good night as each team came up empty on three power plays. The Canadiens, who were vulnerable on the power play in the preseason, are a perfect 7-for-7 on the PK after two games.

Allen was the main reason the Canadiens came out of the first period tied 0-0. Montreal had trouble clearing its zone in the first 10 minutes and were outshot 16-6. Detroit finished the period with a 25-10 edge on the shot clock.

Lucas Raymond did get a shot behind Allen on a power play at the end of the period, but Johnathan Kovacevic, the latest addition to the Canadiens’ blue line, reached behind the goaltender and poked the puck out of harm’s way.

Montreal played better in the second period but, once again, neither team was able to score. The shots were 9-8 in favour of the Red Wings, who had the better scoring chances.

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The Canadiens are back in action Saturday when they visit the Washington Capitals (7 p.m,, City, SNE, TVA Sports, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Capital’s are off to a disappointing start with two consecutive losses.

Earlier Friday, the Canadiens  announced defenceman William Trudeau has signed a three-year entry level contract. The deal pays him $750,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 if he plays in the AHL. Trudeau, who is currently in the Laval  Rocket training camp, also gets $10,500 if he is sent back to junior.

phickey@postmedia.com

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