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Notebook: Helm makes impact in return

by Lindsey Ungar / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- In just his third appearance of the season, Detroit’s Darren Helm stood out amidst a lackluster 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Joe Louis Arena — just not the way he probably wanted to.

Helm was guilty of a giveaway deep in the Wings zone right onto the stick of Montreal’s Alex Kovalev. Two quick passes later, Tomas Plekanec put the Has up 2-0 on the power play.

Helm centered a line between Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula. The trio had some of the best scoring chances of the night, and drew a penalty midway through the second when Roman Hamrlik hooked Hudler, who was working behind the net.

Helm played more than 14 ½ minutes with an even plus-minus rating. He seemed to infuse energy into a lineup that lagged coming off a three-game trip through western Canada.

Helm, 21, was recalled from Grand Rapids Wednesday morning, replacing Darren McCarty in the Wings’ lineup. Helm was the Griffins’ second-leading scorer with 18 points in 16 games.

McCarty was assigned to the Griffins.

SHOOTING BLANKS: Johan Franzen finally broke Carey Price’s shutout bid with 6:29 remaining in the third. Franzen danced around Habs defenseman Ryan O’Byrne, twirling to the ice but still blasted a shot past Price. The last time Detroit was shut out on home ice? Almost a year ago – Dec. 31, a 2-0 loss to St. Louis.

ROWDY CROWD: Joe Louis Arena was a little redder and rowdier than usual thanks to the hundreds of Montreal fans peppered throughout the sellout crowd. A “Go Habs Go!” chant started midway through the first period, only to be drowned out by boos. Wings fans fought back with a “Let’s Go Red Wings!” chant of their own.

GAME NOTES: It was the first time in 10 games that the Red Wings failed to pick up a point, and their first regulation loss in November. … It was also the first time Detroit scored one goal or less this season. … The Wings lost for the first time coming back from a road trip this season (3-1-1).
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