Series (Game 1 of 1)

Montreal leads 1-0

Game 1: Monday, October 20th
Red Wings1Final

Red Wings 1

(3-2-0, 6 pts)

Canadiens 2

(4-2-0, 8 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 20, 2003

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
DET 0 1 01
MTL 0 2 02

M. Garon (Canadiens - G): Saves: 18, Save Pct.: .947

H. Zetterberg (Red Wings - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

J. Juneau (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Habs backup Garon makes 18 saves in first start

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens are using their new defensive system to create more scoring chances.

Steve Begin and Richard Zednik each scored a goal off nifty passing plays and backup goalie Mathieu Garon made 18 saves to lead Montreal to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.

Begin scored his first goal with the Canadiens on a two-man break 1:45 into the second period, and Zednik got his second of the season on a two-on-one later in the period.

"Playing like we play, we're going to get our chances," Begin said. "We worked hard and obviously that gives you chances. Tonight we got one, and we scored on it."

Garon, making his first start of the season, came up with a pair of big stops on Brett Hull and a fine glove save on Brendan Shanahan's point shot despite facing just four shots in the first period.

With a chance to tie the game in the third, Hull shot the puck across the crease on a wraparound attempt.

"We'd rather not give him that opportunity but it was good to see he missed it," Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray said.

Montreal has allowed one goal or less in each of its last five games, outscoring its opponents 15-4 since allowing five goals in a season-opening loss Oct. 9 in Ottawa.

"I'm proud of the way we played," Garon said. "The first half of the game the hardest thing was to stay sharp because I hardly had any shots. If we keep playing like that defensively a lot of teams will have problems with our system."

Mathieu Dandenault scored a short-handed goal for Detroit, which has lost two in a row after winning its first three.

"The difference between winning and losing is a fine line and tonight we had a couple of breakdowns in the neutral zone and they capitalized. We had some chances, didn't capitalize and lost the hockey game," Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said.

Red Wings goalie Curtis Joseph, on the trading block since Detroit reacquired Dominik Hasek, was assigned to Grand Rapids of the AHL prior to the game.

Joseph had surgery in August to remove bone chips from his right ankle and hadn't dressed for the Red Wings' first five games.

"They really left it up to me and there were three different possible scenarios," Joseph said. "I could have played this weekend for the team, or maybe drive down on Friday, and Grand Rapids is at home -- it's two hours from my house, get a game in there and then play next week."

Wearing retro uniforms from the 1945-46 season, Montreal improved to 4-2. The uniform features a white-based sweater that resembles a photographic negative of the team's famous red, white and blue jersey.

Garon got help in keeping Detroit scoreless through the first when Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios' shot struck the crossbar late in the period.

The Canadiens took the lead early in the second as Jason Ward and Begin drove in alone. Ward passed to Begin, who beat Hasek for his first goal in three games with Montreal.

"That was a bad change on my part," Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider said. "We got caught on the ice too long. It goes back to the simple things. We've just got to ice the puck or get it deep."

Zednik made it 2-0 6:02 into the period when he finished off a give-and-go passing play with Mike Ribeiro.

Henrik Zetterberg set up Detroit's goal 8:25 into the second, setting up Dandenault from the right side while the Red Wings were killing Montreal's second power-play of the game.

Canadiens rookie Michael Ryder hit the post late in the third and Marian Hossa missed his shot on a two-on-one on a Montreal power play.

Game notes

G Manny Legace backed up Hasek for the fifth straight game. ... Zetterberg scored Detroit's other short-handed goal this season. ... The Canadiens will wear the retro uniforms -- the team's first version of a white uniform -- five more times at home this season. ... Montreal and Detroit have never had third jerseys.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press