Dach Immediately Makes Impact in Canadiens Win Over Lightning
The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, looking to avenge their 5-3 loss against the very same team on Saturday.
For the most part, the Lightning controlled the play, but a strong start by the Canadiens paired with excellent work by their goaltender was enough to secure a 3-2 lead.
Samuel Montembeault was excellent, making 31 saves in the win, 12 of which were of the high-danger variety.
Montembeault with the absolute robbery on Perbix, not once, but twice! pic.twitter.com/z9dIWH714v
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 22, 2023
As previously discussed, Dach makes a significant impact in the lineup, and he wasted no time reminding us of this fact on Tuesday night.
Dach scored his 13th goal of the season less than 10 minutes into the first period, capitalizing on a great pass interception by none other than Nick Suzuki, who used his great anticipation and smart positioning to generate the scoring chance.
Kirby Dach’s goal tonight, ohh yes he’s back pic.twitter.com/9V5CCbZSg7
— Habs Fan TV (@habsfantv_) March 21, 2023
Jonathan Drouin also wasted no time making an impact against the Lightning, however, he was returning from the doghouse rather than the injured reserve, seeing as Drouin was two minutes late to a team meeting, which meant he had to ride the pine on Saturday night.
He scored his second goal of the season off a great pass by Denis Gurianov, who now has 7 points in 12 games since joining the Canadiens in a trade that saw Evgenii Dadonov head to the Dallas Stars.
It was also Drouin’s ninth point in as many games.
Denis Gurianov finds a streaking Jonathan Drouin and it's 2-0 Habs! pic.twitter.com/NotLqFqmah
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 21, 2023
Mike Matheson scored his eighth goal of the season toward the end of the second period, re-establishing the Canadiens’ two-goal lead after Brayden Point scored for the Lightning.
Suzuki will be listed as the player that provided the secondary assist on the play, but in this particular case, there was nothing secondary about his pass.
He once again used his anticipation to set up the play, showing off his elite cerebral approach to the game in the process. With his second point of the night, pushing his career totals to 198 points in 280 games, inching closer to reaching the 200-point mark in his young career.
A stick tap also goes out to Rafael Harvey-Pinard who displayed the type of intelligent hockey and intense forecheck that has served him well during his late-season audition with the Canadiens.
Mike Matheson with a seeing eye shot through traffic, 3-1 #Habs pic.twitter.com/wkrmNf2ipm
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) March 22, 2023
The Canadiens are back in action on Thursday, facing the Boston Bruins. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.
All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick.
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Looks like Dach hasn’t missed a beat. I hope we start next year with Suzi, Dach, Monahan and Evans as centers. As good as any in the league. With a healthy team and HP, Ylonen, Richard there, they could surprise. Total confidence with goaltending. Look forward to Laval next year
It was tough to see Anderson go down and be in obvious pain near the end of the game. Definitely didn’t look good. I’m glad the Canadiens finally made right right choice to shut Guhle down for the season. Too bad they’re 2 injuries too late in making that decision. It should have been done after his knee injury a couple of weeks back. Now he’s got a high ankle sprain and they’re notorious for keeping guys out longer than you’d expect and also having lingering effects. If he’s not able to start the season next year, whoever decided that he was fit to play after his previous 2 back-to-back injuries in succession should get canned immediately.
For all those rooting for losses to gain a percentage point or two in the lottery, what a disappointment for them to see Dach return in a starring role, developing all sorts of confidence and helping this injury plagued team defeat a good Tampa team. What this team building right now means to the future is so important to shaping next year’s team and its possibilities. The future is now.
No slight to Suzuki and Caufield but Dach is showing all signs that he will surpass both of them as the Habs top forward. This first season has meant a lot of adjusting to new lines , switching between wing and center etc. now it’s coming together . Drafted 2 years after Suzuki , he’s already putting up comparable ppg and gpg numbers , despite the first season challenges . His shot last night shows something that he didn’t show early in the season . Confidence means everything .