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Hockey Tomas Plekanec scores in his 1,000th NHL game as Montreal Canadiens whip Detroit Red Wings 7-3

Tomas Plekanec scored in his 1,000th NHL game as the Montreal Canadiens easily defeated the visiting Detroit Red Wings 7-3 on Monday night.

Jonathan Drouin had a pair of goals while Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher, Charles Hudon and Paul Byron also scored for the Canadiens (3-1-1). With Carey Price still out with the flu, backup goalie Antti Niemi stopped 25-of-28 shots for his second consecutive victory.

Andreas Athanasiou scored twice and Thomas Vanek added another for the rebuilding Wings (0-4-2), who are winless after six games this year — their worst start to a season in franchise history.

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Jimmy Howard conceded five goals on 20 shots before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier in the second period. Bernier stopped 13-of-15 shots in relief.

The Red Wings, who were coming off an 8-2 loss to Boston, have now allowed an NHL-worst 29 goals in six games.

Montreal has won six straight versus Detroit dating back to March 2017.

Plekanec became the 324th player in NHL history, and the 13th active NHLer, to reach the 1,000-game plateau. The crowd gave him a standing ovation in the first period.

The Czech native is the 12th Canadiens player to reach that milestone, joining a group that includes Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard and Larry Robinson.

After Drouin opened the scoring for Montreal on a penalty shot at 7:13 of the first, Plekanec made it 2-0 by shooting a puck on goal that Filip Hronek deflected past his own goalie at 16:56.

Athanasiou got one back for the visitors 28 seconds later before Tatar restored the two-goal lead by batting a puck in mid-air past Howard in the dying seconds of the first.

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The Canadiens started the second period how they ended the first.

Gallagher netted his third of the season at 3:52 of the second on a nice pass from Tatar. Hudon made it 5-1 less than a minute later.

Drouin, on the power play, scored his second of the game at 15:59 as he shovelled a loose puck past a sprawled-out Bernier.

The Red Wings showed signs of life in the final frame.

Athanasiou made it 6-2 at 7:30 and Vanek caught Niemi looking the wrong way on a wraparound at 10:11 for his first point of the season.

Byron added Montreal’s seventh goal of the game with 1:49 remaining on the clock.

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