Dylan Larkin appeared to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead in the third period against Anaheim on Tuesday, but the Ducks challenged that the play was offside. The review determined that Anthony Mantha was just a hair offside, and the goal was disallowed.
Anaheim scored twice over the next two minutes to hand Detroit a 3-1 defeat.
"I don't think our response was good enough," Larkin told NHL.com. "I think the message should be no matter what, we go out there and the next shift, we should be back in the O-zone and back on the forecheck, and that didn't happen. ...
"We all knew that it would've been a big goal, and I think there was more deflation after the two quick ones from them."
Detroit had won its first two games, its road opener at Nashville on Saturday and a home win over Dallas on Sunday. Filip Hronek scored the Red Wings' only goal against the Ducks on a delayed penalty in the closing seconds of the second period.
Hronek has settled in during his second season in the NHL, notching a goal and two assists in the first three games.
"Once you know you belong, you're just more comfortable," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Hronek. "I think it just makes you a way better teammate, player, person. You can have way more success when you're confident."
If the Wings want to defeat the Canadiens, they'll have to be smarter and sharper with the puck. They committed 12 giveaways on Tuesday, and two of them led to Ducks goals.
"That's what cost us. We beat ourselves," Blashill said. "Like I talked about, don't beat yourselves. We beat ourselves 100 percent (Tuesday)."
Montreal dominated Detroit last season, winning all four matchups by a combined score of 21-7. Center Max Domi had a pair of two-goal games against the Red Wings.
All three of the Canadiens' games this season have gone past regulation. Montreal's first two games were decided by shootouts, a 4-3 loss at Carolina and a 6-5 victory at Toronto. The Canadiens lost 5-4 in overtime at Buffalo on Wednesday.
Both are natives of Finland and Kotkaniemi looks up to his teammate.
"I think he's one of my mentors here," Kotkaniemi told reporters. "Like I've said many times, he was my idol when I was a kid. He helps me a lot on the ice and off the ice. He's a hard-working guy, and you always like to play with those players. ...
"There's no better player to play with at the moment. He's going so hard, and he's physical, too. That skill set that he has, it's pretty unbelievable."
The other member of the line, Jonathan Drouin, added an assist against the Sabres.
Keith Kinkaid made his Montreal debut on Wednesday and stopped 34 shots. It's likely top goalie Carey Price will face the Red Wings.
--Field Level Media