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Gallagher scores twice to reach 30 goals, Canadiens beat Red Wings 4-2

MONTREAL — Even with the Montreal Canadiens eliminated from playoff contention, Brendan Gallagher continues to battle hard every single game.

MONTREAL — Even with the Montreal Canadiens eliminated from playoff contention, Brendan Gallagher continues to battle hard every single game.

Gallagher scored twice, including his 30th goal of the season, as the Canadiens defeated the visiting Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Monday.

The feisty winger also notched his 48th and 49th points of the season. His previous career high was 47.

"It's nice," said Gallagher of reaching the 30-goal plateau. "You want to contribute and you want to score. It's also nice to get it out of the way and stop talking about myself and get back to finishing hard and finishing the right way.

"We have five games remaining and we want to finish the right way game after game and really push each other to carry this over into next year."

With the scored tied 1-1 in the second period, Gallagher scored his first of the game and team-leading 29th of the year at 4:27. The Habs forward threw the puck on net from the corner of the ice and it bounced off Red Wings defenceman Danny DeKeyser's skate and in.

The Edmonton native, who has now scored in three consecutive contests, notched his 30th at 9:32 when he tipped a shot by Mike Reilly on net. The puck went off Jared Coreau's skate, landed in the crease, and the Red Wings goalie accidentally knocked it in himself.

"Those are the ones I'm used to scoring," said Gallagher, who also had two blocked shots. "It's always good when the guys don't really know that you scored the goals. But any way you can score is obviously nice."

The five-foot-nine forward came inches away from netting his first career hat trick. With 4:26 remaining in the game, Gallagher nearly knocked a loose puck in the net but teammate Alex Galchenyuk got his stick on it first to make it 4-2.

"I don't think there's a guy who works harder in this locker room," Jeff Petry said of Gallagher. "He's one of the guys who's consistently going to those tough areas and he's getting rewarded for it."

Added coach Claude Julien: "Those 30 goals are well deserved. It's an example of what hard work and perseverance and commitment and dedication is all about. He never complains about anything. He goes about and does his job. That's what you expect from your leaders."

Carey Price made 26 saves for Montreal (28-37-12) for his first victory since Feb. 4. He was 0-5-2 since then.

Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi scored for the Red Wings (27-38-11), which have won just once in their last 14 games (1-12-1). Coreau stopped 27-of-31 shots in his fifth game of the season. He's 0-4-0 this year.

The teams traded goals in the first period.

Nyquist opened the scoring at 4:41 of the first period with a hard one-timer before Paul Byron responded, on the power play, with a backhand shot off the post and in at 18:11 for his 19th of the year.

Down 3-1, Bertuzzi got one back for the visitors at 13:41 of the second when he squeezed a loose puck between Price's pads.

Like the Canadiens, the Red Wings have already been eliminated from playoff contention and will be in the thick of this summer's draft lottery. Montreal is 26th in the NHL, three points ahead of 27th-place Detroit.

"We've been real good through the stretch," said Wings coach Jeff Blashill. "We've played really good hockey. We've deserved better results. No chance is that good enough tonight. We have to be way better.

"Our attention to detail, not good enough. Our intensity, not good enough. Winning puck battles, doing all the little things it takes. Just too many guys not going."

Notes: Several Canadian Olympians were honoured in a pre-game ceremony, including medallists Kim Boutin, Charles Hamelin, Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Mikael Kingsbury.


Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press