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Nyqvist scores in OT as Red Wings get by Habs

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- The Detroit Red Wings blew an opportunity to gain two crucial standings points on the Montreal Canadiens, so they made sure that they came away with at least one.

Detroit right winger Gustav Nyqvist scored 4:32 into overtime to give the Red Wings a 2-1 win against Montreal on Wednesday night.

Nyqvist scored his 15th goal into an open left side with 27.3 seconds left in the extra period after Detroit blew a 1-0 lead late in regulation.

"We've got to catch them and we control our own fate here, so we wanted to start up on a good note here after the Olympic break," Nyqvist said. "Obviously you don't want to let up a goal that late in the third period, but it was nice to get that win."

Canadiens right winger Brian Gionta scored the tying goal with 28.7 seconds remaining in the third. The Canadiens captain put a backhand shot past Jimmy Howard to ruin the Detroit goaltender's shutout bid with Montreal goalie Peter Budaj pulled for an extra attacker.

Detroit left winger Todd Bertuzzi scored his first goal since Dec. 10 in the first. His seventh goal of the season came on a power play 14:01 into the opening period in his first game since Jan. 22.

Bertuzzi was a healthy scratch in Detroit's eight games prior to the Olympic break after recording one point in 18 games subsequent to his previous goal.

The teams played two minutes of 3-on-3 in overtime after Red Wings left winger Tomas Tatar was called for hooking and Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban was sent off for diving at 1:51.

Howard, who faced 16 shots before Gionta scored, was a member of the United States men's Olympic team but did not see any action in Sochi.

"I felt pretty good," said Howard, who made 19 saves overall. "You know, I've been thinking about this game for a while. I wanted to get off on a good start and I thought I was able to do that."

Budaj made 28 saves. Budaj, who played for Slovakia and made one relief appearance in Sochi, started in place of Canadian gold medal winner Carey Price, who aggravated a lower-body injury during the Olympics.

The Canadiens ended the three-game winning streak they took into the Olympic break on a 5-1-1 run.

"I think the guys were prepared, working hard in practices and doing the little things, but Detroit played a good game," Budaj said. "They were winning the battles and we were not."

Detroit, which lost its final game before the break following a 3-0-1 run, won the first two of four games against its new Atlantic Division rival, closed to within five points of Montreal.

"To me, I thought we played good, even in the final minute," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I mean, that's all part of it. I thought it was a tight game. I wish we would have shot the puck a little more, but other than that, it was two teams checking real hard and there wasn't a lot of room out there. To me, we controlled a lot of tonight's game and I was happy with their effort."

Subban, who played one game for Canada in Sochi, was called for roughing 13 minutes into the first period. Late in a Montreal power play, Subban shoved Detroit center Darren Helm while he was on the ice after the two collided following a race for the puck in the Red Wings' zone.

Bertuzzi scored on the ensuing power play on a setup from behind the net by left winger Johan Franzen, who returned after missing 22 of the previous 23 games because of complications from a concussion.

"You try to get back and you start feeling bad again, and I never had that before, so of course you start getting worried, but today I felt good, and it's great to be back; I missed playing hockey," Franzen said.

Detroit outshot Montreal 30-20 overall. The Canadiens' two shots in the second were a season low for a period.

"They were doing a good job of bottling us up, but we had no pressure anywhere on the ice," Gionta said. "We were second on the puck pretty much the first two periods, most of that they were beating us to everything, and it shows when you get a couple of shots in the second period."

NOTES: Canadiens G Carey Price missed the game and will also be sidelined for Montreal's game in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Price, who helped lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, aggravated a lower-body injury during the Olympic tournament. ... Price and Canadiens D P.K. Subban were among several members of Canada's gold medal-winning men's and women's hockey teams who were introduced to the Bell Centre crowd prior to the singing of the Canadian national anthem. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland were also introduced. Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored the overtime winner against the United States, received the biggest ovation among the seven women's team members introduced along with assistant coach Danielle Goyette. ... Red Wings C Henrik Zetterberg is out for at least eight weeks after having back surgery Friday to repair a herniated disk that cut short his Olympic tournament for Sweden. ... G Dustin Tokarski was Montreal's backup. Tokarski, who was recalled from AHL Hamilton earlier Wednesday, played in seven games with Tampa Bay from 2009-12.
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