MONTREAL -- Perhaps the Red Wings were just sick of losing -- they were certainly tired of talking about the Canadiens' dominance over them for what seemed like an eternity.
So the Wings did what was needed to reverse their fortunes against a team they must beat if they're going to compete for a playoff spot --playing near flawless hockey for a full 60 minutes.
Twice the Canadiens came back on the Red Wings to erase a one-goal deficit, but the Wings never flinched and Jonathan Bernier made all the big saves, allowing Detroit to skate away with a 4-2 victory over Montreal.
The victory snapped the Wings' nine-game losing streak against the Canadiens. It was their first regulation win in Montreal since they won, 4-1, on Dec. 4, 2007.
Darren Helm, Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha (power play) and Luke Glendening (empty net) were the goal scorers for Detroit.
Joel Armia and Max Domi (power play) found the back of the net for Montreal.
Bernier was solid in net for the Wings, picking up his second victory of the young season.
Entering the game, Bernier's record against his hometown team was 1-11-3, but on Thursday, he stopped 33 of the 35 shots the Canadiens fired on net for a .943 save percentage.
Carey Price took the loss for Montreal.
Up next for the Red Wings (3-1-0) is a Saturday night affair versus the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena.
Montreal (1-1-2) will also play next on Saturday when it hosts the defending Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues.
1.Dylan Larkin: It's not a secret that Larkin is what makes the Red Wings tick. His motor is always in maximum overdrive and he is the driving force on his line with Mantha and Bertuzzi. He picked up an assist on Bertuzzi's goal, but it was dogged determination that paced the Wings attack all game. Larkin led all forwards in ice time, clocking in at 20:45. He was plus-1, had three shots on goal and won 52 percent of his face-offs. Many of his face-off wins came in the third period when the Red Wings were protecting a one-goal lead.
Quotable: "We had an attitude tonight, a business attitude, I would like to say. It was talked about before the game, our record. We knew that we struggled in this building, we knew that they played last night so it was an opportunity. We were able to slow down their start and when we've struggled in the past, it seems like we've come out sluggish and they've started really fast here. We slowed them down and it was a great response for us. I think as the season goes on, we're building a team identity. I think as we get into the four games here, our identity's never going away. Relentless work ethic and just never going away. We did that. They scored to make it 1-1 and we come back to make it 2-1 to go into the intermission. It was a huge third period for us on the road. We made it about us and we played a great game tonight." - Larkin
Quotable II: "I just thought it was a solid performance. These are the type of games, for us to be successful, we have to win. When it was 3-2 late in the game, I thought we did a good job in the third of not giving them a ton. I thought we defended fairly well most of the game and when they got chances, I thought Bernier was excellent. I thought the depth of our forward group was good. I thought (Jacob) de la Rose's line was really good. These are the types of games we're going to have to win." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Danny DeKeyser: DeKeyser has been a quiet force on the Red Wings blue line for the last couple of seasons. Against the Canadiens, he picked up an assist on the goals by Helm and Bertuzzi, and his 22:50 of ice time led the Wings. He finished the game with two assists, was plus-3 and blocked two shots, but it was his calm demeanor on the back end that settled the game down when the Canadiens were desperately trying to mount a third-period comeback.
Quotable: "Danny's a really good player. I've said for a while, I think he's one of the better guys from the red line back to our net. Well, really, he's adding lots of offense, too. But he's defended great. I think he's done a really good job so far this year. He's got lots of pressure on him in the role he plays and he's done a real good job of it."- Blashill
Quotable II: "It feels good. We've known what they've done to us in the past and we knew on opening night, they were going to come out hard, so we had to bring our best if we were going to have a chance to win. I thought our first period was great. Our power play came through with a goal. We need that. We took care of the puck there in the third when we needed to. I just think everybody's buying in lately. Nobody's trying to do too much. We're kind of taking what's there and not trying to force things. That's definitely good to see and I think if we just keep playing like this, we'll have a good year. I thought I looked pretty good out there tonight. There were a few plays I would've wanted back for sure but I think you could say that about any game. I've been feeling good and I'm just trying to go out there and do what I can to help this team." - DeKeyser
3. Jonathan Bernier: Last season, the Wings felt Bernier's numbers did not reflect his play in the Detroit goal. Many players believed they let their netminder down defensively and are committed to play better in front of their affable goalie this year. Montreal is a team that goes hard to the net and for most of the night, the Canadiens were all over Bernier, crashing into his crease and screening his vision. But Bernier never withered and made all the big saves. This season, he's 2-0 with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
Quotable: "I thought my read was good. I was aggressive when I needed to be and I was patient when I knew there was options back door. Most of the night, I thought I did a really good job of being aggressive and letting it hit me. We knew coming in tonight, we knew what happened last year. But I think we just focused on tonight and we knew the way we played the last game against Anaheim, we wanted to come out strong and play for 60 minutes and we did. We didn't really care about who we were playing against, we just wanted to make sure that we were the better team out there tonight." - Bernier
Quotable II: "Good for Bernie. Bernie is a good goalie that works extremely hard and statistically, last year wasn't a great year but I would take lots of the blame for that in the sense that we didn't defend well enough in front of him. I said to our goalies, we got to find a way to defend great to give them a chance to be great goalies. If you don't defend great, you don't give your goalies a chance. I thought we defended well and Bernier was real good." - Blashill