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Montreal Canadiens

Youngsters Dach, Guhle Power Canadiens’ Comeback In 3-2 Win



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens were propelled by their youngsters to come back from a two-goal deficit and pull off the victory in dramatic fashion against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Montreal Canadiens came out of the gate roaring, returning home after a quick road trip to Detroit and Washington. The veteran Penguins took in the first period and couldn’t muster much offence to start the game, but seemed to pick up the pace as the game went on. The Penguins, however, pushed on the accelerator in the second period, as they scored two quick goals in the second period to the lead and a stranglehold on the game.

The Montreal Canadiens showed some bite in the third period, as Nick Suzuki put his team within a goal early in the frame, and Cole Caufield tied it up with a little over two minutes in the game. The Canadiens then completed the comeback when Kirby Dach redirected a Sean Monahan pass passed Casey DeSmith to run away with the 3-2 overtime win.

It wasn’t always easy for the club in this game, but some of their key youngsters like Kaiden Guhle, Dach, Suzuki and Caufield stood up in the third period and changed the momentum of the game. It was a strong showing from the club’s young core, as they were able to overwhelm the veteran Penguins just as they were looking to cap off what was a vintage road game.

Here’s what stood out the most:

Big Goals From Key Players:

Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach and Cole Caufield all scored to help propel the Montreal Canadiens to their second win of the season, and were instrumental throughout the game in keeping the offensive flow going for the club. If the club is to have success down the line, it will need these three players to take another big step in their development this season; and games like tonight are great building blocks for future success.

Of the bunch, Kirby Dach was perhaps the most deserving of a goal tonight, as he was constantly in motion and consistently looking to create offensive scoring chances out of nothing. The chemistry might not have been there with his new linemates tonight, but Dach was everywhere on the ice; be it on the rush, down low in the offensive zone or along the boards in the defensive zone. He continues to put up consistent performances and he was rewarded tonight.

Maturity Beyond His Years

Kaiden Guhle once again looked like a veteran out there, playing in his fourth NHL game and not giving an inch against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He broke up plays down in the defensive zone, and also showed great poise with the puck when moving it up the ice.

Guhle was more aggressive in being first on the puck and using his feet to skate himself out of trouble in this game, often cutting to the outside to open up a lane for him to skate the puck out of danger and reduce the pressure on his club.

What seemed different in this game, was that Guhle looked more assertive in possession of the puck and was more active in carrying it up himself, similarly to what we had seen during the preseason. He was able to take advantage of the gaps of space available to him on the ice, and quickly closed up and gaps left open in front of him, leading him to pick up his first two career points in the form of assists on Suzuki and Caufield’s goals.

He was on the ice on the penalty kill, the power play, with the goalie pulled and even in overtime; he did it all for the Montreal Canadiens tonight. It should not be his responsibility this early in his career, but he once again looked like the club’s No.1 defenceman in yet another game.

Positive Signs For Slafkovsky

Juraj Slafkovsky looked far more energized in tonight’s tilt, despite being demoted to the fourth line with Jake Evans and Mike Hoffman. He played with more jump in his step and was very effective in distributing the puck to his teammates in the offensive zone.

His line was very effective with the time given to them, as they limited the amount of time they spent in their own zone and produced some good scoring chances for the club; with Slafkovsky being at the root of many of those plays with his exceptional vision.

He showed more bite along the boards and made better decisions with the puck, but still showed some instances where his balance was off and he was out of position to make a play. All in all, it was a more convincing performance, but there’s clearly more room for improvement.


Petry Returns, But..

Former Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry made his return to Montreal since being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with Ryan Poehling, for Mike Matheson and a 4th round pick. Although he was booed every time he touched the puck tonight, the Canadiens gave him a classy tribute video during a TV timeout in the first period and the crowd provided him quite the ovation.

Unfortunately for Petry, he took three penalties in this game, including a costly overtime penalty which the Canadiens utilized to run away with the game.

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