#9 Detroit Red Wingsvs.#10 Montreal Canadiens
Written by Valdis Pans
Detroit Red Wings (28-31-11-0) vs. Montreal Canadiens (41-23-6-2)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Lines: Detroit +199 / Montreal -240
The Detroit Red Wings (8th in Atlantic Division) will travel to Quebec with no rest to square off against the Montreal Canadiens (1st in Atlantic), who have just beaten Ottawa twice…
The Detroit Red Wings (28-31-11) will finish off their fourth back-to-back set of the month by visiting the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday, just 24 hours after hosting the Buffalo Sabres. The Wings had gone 1-2-0 in second games of their previous double-headers this month, but are entering the current one on the back of two consecutive victories against the Arizona Coyotes (5-4 after a shootout) and the Colorado Avalanche (5-1). Tomas Tatar (38 points for the year) was leading the team in goals prior to Monday, having netted 20 times thus far. Henrik Zetterberg was the top point-guy with 15 snipes and 44 assists.
Jimmy Howard was 7-8-1 for the season before the clash against the Sabres with a 1.97 GAA and had gone 3-6-2 against Montreal previously with a 3.25 career GAA. Petr Mrazek, meanwhile, was 16-19-7 for the current campaign with a 3.04 GAA and 2-1-1 versus the Canadiens with a 2.63 GAA. The Red Wings were 25th in the league with 67 points from 70 fixtures, whole 12 points out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. They were 5th in least goals netted per contest (2.41), 6th in most goals given up on average (3.00), 11th in penalty kill with 82.0% efficiency and 2nd from the bottom in power play with a 13.8% success rate.
The Montreal Canadiens (41-23-8) had a perfect sweep against the Ottawa Senators during their back-to-back home-and-home set with the 1st position in the Atlantic Division at stake. It was a close contest at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, when the visiting Habs squeezed out a 4-3 shootout victory. A much more convincing performance from the Canadiens was on show just 24 hours later at Bell Centre, where the hosts posted a 4-1 win, thus increasing their lead over Ottawa in the Atlantic Division to four points. Andrew Shaw (11 goals, 27 points for the season), Phillip Danault (11 goals, 35 points) and Brendan Gallagher (8 goals, 23 points) netted in Ottawa, while Tomas Plekanec (8 goals, 25 points), Jordie Benn (4 goals, 17 points), Paul Byron (20 goals, 37 points) and Nathan Beaulieu (3 goals, 25 points) got on the score-sheet on Sunday.
Goalie Carey Price made a combined total of 58 saves during both fixtures and has now gone 33-17-5 for the year with a 2.26 GAA. He has collected a 10-4-1 total against the Detroit Red Wings in the past with a 1.98 career GAA. The Canadiens are currently 8th in the league with 90 points from 72 outings and have a 21-10-4 home record. They are 14th in least goals scored per game (2.72), 7th in least goals allowed on average (2.47), 12th in power play with a 20.1% return and 15th in penalty kill with 80.7% capability.
The Red Wings haven’t beaten the Canadiens in Montreal for the past three years, failing to win at Bell Centre during their past six attempts (0-4-2). Second games of its back-to-backs have also caused problems for Detroit, with just seven no-rest victories registered in the past 23 tries. Montreal, meanwhile, has been decent at home lately, winning three of the last four domestic fixtures (3-1-0). The Habs have also won 10 of the previous 13 head-to-head meetings with the Red Wings (10-3-0)…
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Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray’s shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members’ birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...