Plekanec, Vanek lead Canadiens over Red Wings 5-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2014 at 10:20 pm •  Published: March 27, 2014
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DETROIT (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens started fast and finished strong to overcome a rough patch in between.

Max Pacioretty broke a third-period tie, Tomas Plekanec scored twice and Montreal beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 Thursday night.

The Canadiens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and led 3-1 going into the third. But Detroit's Tomas Tatar scored twice during a span of 3:06 early in the third period to tie it.

Pacioretty restored the Canadiens' lead 5:48 into the third and Thomas Vanek added a goal with 8:45 left.

"The second and third periods weren't good at all. We got lucky that we found a way to win," Plekanec said.

Vanek added two assists and David Desharnais had a goal and an assist for Montreal. P.K. Subban had two assists and Carey Price made 26 saves.

"It doesn't matter if you win 1-0 or 10-9 at this point. It all adds up the same," Price said.

Canadiens' coach Michel Therrien praised the line of Desharnais between Vanek and Pacioretty.

"They were true leaders the way they played. They were playing all over the ice, they were hungry and did the right things."

Tatar's goals were his 17th and 18th. Riley Sheahan added a goal and an assist, and Johan Franzen also scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 24 shots.

"From the start. We weren't very good in the first period, starting with myself. We were turning the pucks over all over the ice, we weren't skating and we weren't working," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "But in saying that, we were still in the game somehow. Howie (Howard) kept us in there, gave us a chance.

"We make it 3-3, then they go up 4-3, 5-3 and we score right away again and it's still a game, but all in all we have to be better than this."

Franzen brought the Red Wings to within one, 21 seconds after Vanek's goal. It was Franzen's 16th goal and broke a nine-game goal-scoring drought.