Mikael Granlund, Devan Dubnyk Lead Minnesota Wild Past Montreal Canadiens 1-0
MONTREAL (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens lost their game to the Minnesota Wild, but not their captain. Mikael Granlund scored, Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots for his first shutout of the season and the Wild defeated the Canadiens 1-0 Monday night.
The Canadiens got good news about Shea Weber, who was hit in the face with the puck while blocking a shot in the first period.
The Canadiens' captain will travel with the team on a two-game trip, starting Tuesday night in Detroit.
It's a major break for the Canadiens, who have lost two games in a row and are struggling get back in a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
"He'll go on the road trip with us," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "The tests were positive. I assume he will play (on Tuesday) but I can't guarantee it."
Weber blocked a shot by Granlund and the puck rode up his own stick and hit him on the left cheek.
Weber winced in pain on the bench but played seven more shifts and finished the first period. He did not return for the second.
The 33-year-old already missed the first 24 games of the season with foot and knee injuries dating to last season.
Defensemen Petry, Victor Mete and Jordie Benn were forced to carry the load of Weber's absence, playing 26 minutes, 40 seconds, 21:15 and 21:12, respectively.
"Obviously that's a big loss in the first period," said Petry. "You never want to lose a guy. It's about guys playing in different roles and playing a little more than normal. It does shake things up a little bit."
Montreal was also without forward Kenny Agostino for most of the game. Agostino was given a game misconduct just 2:28 in because of a late hit on Minnesota's Eric Fehr, who left the game after hitting his head on the edge of the players' bench. Fehr did not return.
The depleted roster took its toll in the third period as Granlund netted his first goal since Nov. 29.
"We were in it the whole time," Julien said. "We had better scoring chances than they did. One mistake ended up costing us the game."
Carey Price stopped 24 shots for the Canadiens, who have dropped two in a row.
With the win, the Wild have won three straight games, all on the road.
"It was a fairly sloppy game overall," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It seemed like the ice was so fast that pucks were spinning like a curling rock every time it hit somebody's stick. The best pass was the one they gave Granlund."
Granlund scored the game's only goal at 6:58 of the third period after pouncing on a no-look pass giveaway by Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry deep in his own zone.
Granlund scored his 12th of the season when he waited out Price, who was partially blocked by players in front of the net.
The Wild have won eight consecutive games against the Canadiens dating to Nov. 8, 2014. Granlund has at least a point in each of those victories.
The Canadiens failed to avenge a 7-1 loss in the teams' last meeting. It was Montreal's worst defeat of the season.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.