Steve Yzerman's first goal of the season opened the floodgates for the Detroit Red Wings.
The Detroit captain tipped a bouncing pass from Brendan Shanahan past Jocelyn Thibault on a power play at 13:19 of the third period, giving the Red Wings a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
"When I got back to the bench, Steve said: `Nice pass,"' said Shanahan. "I said: That was a shot. But it's like the old saying goes -- good things happen when you go to the net."
The Yzerman goal opened the door for Detroit as Larry Murphy then beat Thibault from the red line at 16:49 and Martin Lapointe added a goal at 18:35.
Goaltender Chris Osgood made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season and the 22nd of his career.
"The longest goal I ever scored was from behind my own net," said Murphy, 37, recalling a goal scored in 1981-82 with the Los Angeles Kings. "I couldn't tell if it bounced, but if it did, that's tough on the goalie."
Detroit (5-2-0), which was coming off a 5-3 loss to Toronto on Friday night, outshot Montreal 25-18 before the first sellout crowd of 21,273 this season at the Molson Centre.
"After that first goal, obviously there was a letdown by our team," said Canadiens captain Vincent Damphousse, whose accidental high stick on Kirk Maltby put Detroit on the power play for Yzerman's goal.
"We tried to put pressure on, but after that second goal, we knew it was pretty much over. But Jocelyn has nothing to blame himself for. He made key saves at the right times and he's been pretty steady since the start of the season."
Both teams played tight defensive hockey, with Montreal using three defensemen against the Stanley Cup champions' top line of Shanahan, Yzerman and Darren McCarty.
"Teams will try to get the offensive players frustrated and think: `I'm not going to get any points tonight,'" sad Shanahan. "Then they start opening up.
"You can't get frustrated in a game like that."
With both clubs clogging the neutral zone, the best chances came on power plays, where Thibault and Osgood both shone.
Osgood stopped Mark Recchi on a shot from the doorstep in the first period and thwarted Brian Savage after the Canadiens' left wing swept in alone in the third. Only moments later, Yzerman scored.
Detroit coach Scotty Bowman, in his second game back after an angioplasty and a knee replacement, called the save on Savage "the turning point."
"I was trying to go top corner but I didn't get much wood on it," said Savage. "It definitely seemed like a turning point."
The Red Wings were 3-for-3 on penalty kills and have allowed only one power-play goal on 33 chances this season.
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