DETROIT - The Red Wings have not had great success against the Montreal Canadiens of late, especially with Carey Price in goal.
The Wings were 2-5-3 in their last 10 against the Canadiens and 0-1-1 this season, but held them to just 18 shots and got an ugly goal for a 1-0 victory Monday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.
1. Jared Coreau : Coreau made his seventh start in the last 11 games and his second straight at home. After making 34 saves in Los Angeles for his first career shutout against the Kings, Coreau only needed to make 18 to get his second in his last four starts. Coreau improved to 5-1-1 this season.
Quotable: "I try not to get too high. You got to enjoy it a little bit but like I said earlier, when you get a shutout, it's definitely a team effort. It sounds cliche but there were some big blocks in there, we got a post that went our way and we held them to only 18 shots. So I think defensively and overall we just played a really good game." - Coreau
Quotable II: "He's played pretty well. It certainly was a good game tonight and a good game the other night. I talk lots about that this league is every single day. You better show up every day to be great and that just gives you a chance to compete. So good job so far for him." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Thomas Vanek : Vanek played with Montreal goaltender Carey Price before so he knows how good he is. It figures that the only pucks to get past Price came off of Vanek. One, at 4:05 of the second, Vanek tipped past Price but the puck went behind Price yet stayed out of the net. At 18:14 of the second, Vanek went to the net and Danny DeKeyser's shot went off of Vanek's leg and into the net for the only goal of the game. Vanek extended his point streak to six games. He has five goals and four assists in that span. It was Vanek's 850th NHL game. Vanek has been held without a point just three times since Dec. 1, collecting 20 points in his last 20 games.
Quotable: "I've played with Pricer and he's the best goalie in the world. There's not too many point-blank shots that are going to go in on him. It's going to have to be those shot tips and those ugly goals in front of the net and redirections." - Vanek
Quotable II: "He's been a really good fit for us. He's got an unbelievable offensive mind. He comes up with faceoff plays and things like that that I wouldn't be able to think of. He's got a really, really high IQ offensively and then he's got a pretty unique skill set for us. He's a real big body with real good skill. He had the one tip on the power play that went behind Price and probably should have went in. He scored the goal. The biggest thing with Thomas for me is he's a winner and he's a great person, and you want as many winners and great people around here as you can." - Blashill
3. Two straight wins against top teams: The Wings had not gotten two straight wins in regulation since October and they had not had much success against some of the better teams like Pittsburgh and Montreal. But after beating those two teams back-to-back in very different ways - a 6-3 fast-paced game against the Penguins and a 1-0 defensive battle against the Canadiens - it helps build confidence.
Quotable: "As a coach you want perfection, so you want to be great defensively and score lots of goals but the game doesn't always go that way. Sometimes games can get into track meets and you've got to outscore your opponent. Certainly Pittsburgh's a team that plays in a way that you're going to get opportunities for sure. But they're going to get opportunities, too. Montreal plays a little different. It was I thought a pretty tight game. I didn't think either team had tons of chances. I thought we created a good amount and probably missed the net too much. I think we've got to make sure over the long haul that we're real good defensively and I thought we were real good defensively tonight." - Blashill
Quotable II: "It's good to see that we can play both kind of games. Today I think for sure there wasn't as many chances in both ends as last game. But like I said, it's good to see that we have that ability. Montreal is very structured, tough to create against them. You know you got to work for your chances out there. I think we did the same to them, we didn't give up too many chances at all so it was good to see." - Frans Nielsen