DETROIT – The Red Wings were hoping to catch a depleted Montreal Canadiens team Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
The Canadiens were playing the second half of a back-to-back after losing to the Boston Bruins at home Wednesday night.
With Carey Price out, Dustin Tokarski made his first start of the season.
Petr Mrazek made his 17th start.
Darren Helm had a breakaway at 3:57 of the first but was not able to get a good shot off and ended up in the net himself.
The Wings got the first power play chance at 6:01 when Tomas Fleischmann was sent to the box for hooking Henrik Zetterberg.
The Wings could not capitalize, recording two shots.
The Canadiens had their power-play opportunity at 10:01 when Justin Abdelkader was called for charging P.K. Subban.
Andrei Markov had a breakaway with the man advantage but hit the left post.
Tokarski stopped Riley Sheahan's shorthanded chance at 11:18.
At 14:34, Fleischmann had a breakaway but Mrazek made the spectacular save and then also stopped Daniel Carr's rebound.
Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry, son of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan, was called for cross-checking Tomas Jurco at 15:38.
But the Wings once again were unable to take advantage of the man-advantage.
RED WINGS 0, CANADIENS 0
PENALTIES: 1. MTL, Fleischmann (hooking), 6:01; 2. DET, Abdelkader (charging), 10:01; 3. MTL, Petry (cross-checking), 15:38.
SHOTS: Detroit 10, Montreal 7
The Canadiens got their second power play of the game when Brendan Smith was called for holding.
Wings coach Jeff Blashill has talked about how the Wings have managed to establish three lines that can score and how beneficial it would be if the fourth line was also chipping in from time to time.
Helm, who had a couple of chances in the first, gave the Wings just that at 11:18 of the second.
Helm, flying into the offensive zone, was able to glove a puck in the air, drop it to the ice and then lift it top shelf over Tokarski on a highlight-reel goal.
Luke Glendening and Joakim Andersson got the assists.
But the Wings could not hold the slim lead.
At 13:21, Charles Hudon, playing in his first NHL game, shot the puck.
Mrazek made the initial save but could not stop Sven Andrighetto from poking the puck into the net as it lay in the crease.
Daniel Carr was called for cross-checking at 13:37 but Tomas Plekanec had the best chance on it, coming on a shorthanded breakaway at 15:31. Mrazek made the save.
Mrazek had to stop Plekanec again at 18:53 when Plekanece got loose during 4-on-4 play.
RED WINGS 1, CANADIENS 1
SCORING: 1. DET, Helm (Glendening, Andersson), 11:18; 2. MTL, Andrighetto (Hudon, Markov), 13:37.
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Smith (holding), 5:37; 2. MTL, Carr (cross-checking), 13:37; 3. MTL, Flynn (roughing), 18:23; 4. DET, Abdelkader (tripping), 18:23.
SHOTS:: Detroit 7 (17), Montreal 10 (17).
The Canadiens did not appear to be tiring at all in the third, despite playing their second game in as many nights.
At 4:30, Fleischmann scored from the right circle, beating Mrazek stick side. David Desharnais and Carr assisted.
The Wings had an excellent chance to tie the game at 7:00 but Tokarski stopped both Smith and then Tomas Tatar on the rebound.
The Wings got another chance with the man-advantage at 8:42 when Alexei Emelin was called for high-sticking.
Snapping their 0-for-4 skid for the game, Zetterberg's shot from the left circle went off of Abdelkader's right foot and past Tokarski at 12:48.
Although Abdelkader's foot was moving, the review decided it was not with a kicking motion and the goal stood.
Shortly thereafter, at 13:59, Helm struck again when he buried the puck past a sprawling Tokarski for his third goal of the season and second of the game.
It was Helm's first multi-goal game since Dec. 31, 2014, against the New Jersey Devils.
The Red Wings got another power play when Subban was called for delay of game at 18:16.
The Canadiens lifted Tokarski at 18:30.
RED WINGS 3, CANADIENS 2
SCORING: 1. MTL, Fleischmann (Desharnais, Carr), 4:30; 2. DET, Abdelkader PPG (Zetterberg, Kronwall), 12:48; 3. DET, Helm (Datsyuk), 13:59.
PENALTIES: 1. MTL, Fleischmann (hooking), 8:42; 2. MTL, Emelin (high-sticking), 12:30; 3. MTL, Subban (delay of game), 18:16.
SHOTS: Detroit 12 (29), Montreal 6 (23).