MONTREAL -- On a night the Detroit Red Wings needed to show some fight, or at least give the impression they are capable of doing so, they instead were soundly, thoroughly thrashed.
The Montreal Canadiens scored in bunches Saturday at Bell Centre, scored at even strength and shorthanded and with the man advantage as the Wings surrendered one prime scoring opportunity after another. The ugliness finally ended at 10-1.
Petr Mrazek looked bad, allowing five goals on 25 shots and he only played a few minutes past the game's midpoint. Jimmy Howard gave up five goals on nine shots. It was 2-0 after 6 minutes and 6-0 after 40.
But the blame blanketed all the Wings players and the coaching staff. The Wings didn't skate, didn't check, rarely shot the puck, as they lost for the seventh straight game. What made it all the more damning was that it came two nights after Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Canadiens on home ice. It seemed nothing was learned.
Coach Jeff Blashill told his players on Friday that they can't win if they can't take a punch. They got a one-two punch early, as they fell behind, 2-0, in a span of 32 seconds in the first period. Paul Byron scored on a breakaway at 5:22, pushing the puck by Nick Jensen at Montreal's blue line and then winning the footrace to earn the breakaway. Nicolas Deslauriers scored at 5:54 after an Anthony Mantha turnover.
One of the Wings' best chances came shorthanded, when Trevor Daley fed Dylan Larkin near the right side of the net. Larkin's shot slid an inch wide, if that. During even-strength play, Mantha drove to the net but was thwarted by a glove save from Carey Price. Still, the Wings were outshot, 14-7, and gave up a good scoring opportunity in the waning seconds of the first period.
The Wings keep getting manhandled in second periods. They gave up three goals in the second period to the Habs Thursday at home, and two goals in a game earlier this week against Los Angeles. Saturday saw Byron make it 3-0 when he again used his powerful stride to get in behind the Wings, at 1:51, and the humiliation continued when Jacob de la Rose scored shorthanded into an empty net after Mrazek had moved out to challenge Deslauriers. The Wings just continued giving up prime scoring chances. Charles Hudon scored during a 4-on-3 power play, at 13:43, and Howard replaced Mrazek. Byron earned his first career hat trick when he made it 6-0 at 15:38.
Brendan Gallagher got it to 7-0 when he scored from the doorstep a minute into the third period. It got to 8-0 at 6:02 when Jordie Benn scored. Luke Glendening scored at 9:46, and Daniel Carr turned a bad pass in Montreal's zone into a breakaway to make it 9-1 at 11:52. Andrew Shaw scored with 3:34 left in regulation to get it to 10-1. The beating came on the same day that, back in 1995, the Wings thrashed the Canadiens, 11-1.
(c)2017 Detroit Free Press
Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.