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Canadiens Guhle And Belzile Excel In Shootout Loss To Rangers



Canadiens forward Alex Belzile

The Canadiens hosted the high-flying New York Rangers on Thursday night, hoping to snap their winless streak in March.

Thanks to an excellent effort from players such as Alex Belzile, Kaiden Guhle, and Josh Anderson, the game went to the shootout, where the Canadiens fell 4-3 to the Rangers.

Guhle’s Goal

Kaiden Guhle made an immediate impact upon his return to the roster, scoring his fourth goal of the season just 35 seconds into the first period.

The goal, which was assisted by Denis Gurianov and Rem Pitlick, was the result of yet another perfectly timed incursion into the offensive zone from Guhle, who has made a point of discussing his desire for an increased level of offence throughout the season.

It’s also the continuation of an uptick in scoring from the blueline, which has done a much better job activating and supporting the play in the last month.

Guhle is enjoying a rather encouraging rookie season from on offensive standpoint. Injury issues aside, he’s on pace to earn over 30 points in 82-game pro-rated season.

Guhle’s production is rather impressive when you consider he faces a rather high level of competition on most nights and rarely features on the power play.


Belzile’s Bounty

The legend of Alex Belzile continues to grow.

He scored his third goal in as many games, and continues to lead all Canadiens forwards in points per 60 since his arrival in Montreal.

10 points in 19 games usually isn’t something to write home about, but given his usage, which is incredibly limited due to his placement on the fourth line, it’s only fair to say Belzile has done everything possible to seize the late-season opportunity presented to him.

Belzile is intelligent and hard-working, that much we know, but his recent offensive surge points to a player who is more than just a good story this season.

He’s contributing to the team while undertaking the difficult assignments available, and he’s doing it with aplomb.

And he’s also showing the younger players in the organization what it takes to succeed in the NHL.


Shorthanded Scoring

Josh Anderson scored his 19th goal of the season midway through the second period, a player that was started thanks to a brutal giveaway by Rangers forward Patrick Kane.

With the goal, Anderson inches closer to the 20-goal mark, which would be the first time he’s reached the notable achievement since he was acquired by the Habs. His play has been particularly noticeable in recent weeks, as he’s forgone the concept of only playing north-south hockey in favour of a cycle-based style of play that leads to more scoring chances.

He still drives the net more than most, but he’s doing a better job picking his spots.

It’s also worth noting Chris Tierney, who made a great pass on the play, registered his fourth point with the Canadiens since being claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers, surpassing his point totals with his former team this season in six fewer games.

The Canadiens are back in action Saturday, hosting the New Jersey Devils in Montreal. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick.

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Imagine how many more goals Anderson would have if St. Louis can break him of the habit of doing fly-bys after he shoots? If the guy would just stop, he could have 30 goals by now just cashing in on his own rebounds.

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