DETROIT — The Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings both used three- goal outbursts to win on Saturday night.
Montreal (27-11-6) visits Detroit (18-19-6) on Monday at Joe Louis Arena for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee.
The Canadiens scored three goals in 62 seconds and defeated the New York Rangers 5-4 on Saturday at the Bell Centre.
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With the Canadiens trailing 3-2 in the middle if the third, Akexei Lemelin, Max Pacioretty and Paul Byron scored in a little over a minute to put Montreal ahead for good.
“We never give up. We still believe,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “Most of the games are one- goal games and even if we’re trailing, we know there’s a chance we can come back.”
Montreal also got two players back from injury on Saturday. Forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Andrew Shaw returned to the lineup.
Galchenyuk, who missed 18 games with a knee injury, scored a goal in his first game back. But it was quite a different story for Shaw, who had sat for 14 games with a concussion.
He didn’t make it through the first period. Shaw got a game misconduct late in the opening period due to a late hit on Jesper Fast. That led to a fight with J.T. Miller and another major. In all received an interference major, fighting major and game misconduct. He also had a minor penalty earlier in the period, so he amassed 22 penalty minutes.
The Red Wings scored three goals in the third period to break a tie and defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.
Andreas Athanasiou, defenseman Mike Green (power play) and captain Henrik Zetterberg scored in the third period.
But Athanasiou’s goal was the one everyone was talking about.
That’s because that goal, which came at 1:46, saw Athanasiou go the length of the ice and beat several Canadiens. He picked up the puck behind his own net, got through the neutral zone, split two players in the Montreal zone and put a shot under the crossbar.
“I picked the puck up and saw some open ice,” Athanasiou said. “And came over the blue line and saw it was a one-on-one and made a move and it worked out.”
It was his ninth goal of the season. Athanasiou has four goals and three assists in five games since being benched for a game.
“Just stuck to my game plan and tried not to force anything,” he said. “When the play is there, make it. And if its not, just be in the right position.”
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill was pleased with Athanasiou.
“It’s a big goal. kind of out if nothing,” Blashill said. “The one thing that Double A has is he’s got the ability to break people down and score goals on his own. Obviously, he took it end- to-end and scored a goal on his own.
“It’s hard to score goals in this league and when you get someone who can self create and do it on his own, it’s a big thing.”
Rookie goalie Jared Coreau made 28 saves for the first home win of his career.