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Canadiens Game Day: 'Man Mountain' leads Habs to 5-2 win over Rangers

There are good reasons why Mike Babcock called Shea Weber a "Man Mountain" when he was coaching Team Canada at…

There are good reasons why Mike Babcock called Shea Weber a “Man Mountain” when he was coaching Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Many of those reasons were on display during the play that led to Weber’s second goal of the game in Saturday night’s 5-2 win over the New York Rangers at the Bell Center.

It was highlight-real stuff.

With less than 20 seconds left in the first period, Weber hammered the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad into the boards behind the Canadiens’ net and took the puck away. Weber passed it to Phillip Danault, who then passed it to Brendan Gallagher, who then chipped it along the boards to a streaking Tomas Tatar, who was eventually tripped by defender Man Brady Skjei at the Rangers blue line, resulting in a delayed penalty call. 1

9659002] While sliding on his back, Tatar passed the puck to Weber, who had sprinted from behind the Canadiens just into the Rangers zone, and the Man Mountain went in alone on goalie Alexander Georgiev, beating him high to the glove side for his second

“I took a look before I took the puck,” Tatar said after the game. “I just saw somebody driving through. I was pretty lucky it landed right on his stick. I just wanted to put the puck in an area somewhere there.

“I was surprised it was Weby,” Tatar added with a chuckle. “I did not expect that. What a finish by him. Wrister in the top shelf. That was real nice. “

Said Gallagher about Weber on that play:” He got on his horse there. I did not know he could skate like that. “

Artturi Lehkonen also scored twice for the Canadiens, while Tomas Tatar added a single. The Canadiens outshot the Rangers 42-22 and goalie Carey Price made 20 saves for the victory. The win ended a five-game losing streak for the Canadiens (0-3-2) as they improved their record to 12-9-5 and moved into the second wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Weber, spilte i bare hans andre kamp i år efter at have savnet næsten et helt år efter fods og knækirurgi, færdiggjort spillet med en holdkørende 23:59 af istid, fem skud, to mål, fire hits og en plus-1. [19659002] Man Mountain.

Caped crusader

Not surprisingly, Weber was named the game’s first star and was also picked by his teammates as a player of the game. Lehkonen was named the second star and Tatar the third.

When the media entered the Canadians locker room after the game, Weber for the first time was wearing the Game of Thrones style cape he bought during the offseason to be presented to the player of the game after each Canadiens victory.

“We did not want to wear it at all,” Weber said with a big smile. “Det var meningen at være for resten af ​​gutta. Men jeg tror det er en del av å være med disse gutta. Great group. “

Weber’s first goal came on a half-slap shot from the point after taking a beautiful pass from Jonathan Drouin.

” He passed it pretty hard, actually, from all the way across The ice, so I just wanted to make sure I got it to the net, “Weber said.” It definitely was not one of my hardest, but they do not always have to be pure gas, I guess. “

As for his second goal, Weber said: ” I knew we were in our end for a while and it was getting close to the end of the period. It seemed like everything stopped. Out of the corner of my eye I looked to see … the ref was still skating backwards, he had his arm up, I’m assuming for the penalty on Tatar. So I was: OK, we’re still playing and took the shot. I did not know if there was five, 10, 15 seconds (left) … I knew it was getting close to the end. “

Weber’s new partner

Brett Kulak played his first game as Weber’s defense partner and did not look out of place just over a week after getting called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Kulak logged 20 : 38 of ice time, had three shots, four hits, two giveaways and was plus-2.

“I thought he played a good game,” Canadian coach Claude Julien said about Kulak. “He’s a guy who skates well, he’s a guy who closes the play quickly. What I saw tonight at least, it’s one game, but it’s a good game. “

Gallagher knows Kulak from the days when they were team members with the junior Vancouver Giants in the WHL.

” I know Kuly from junior and he’s playing the same hockey that he’s always played, “Gallagher said.” He can skate really well, he makes good plays, he’s poised. I think these two could work well together, obviously, it makes Kuly’s job a little easier to play with Webs. Kuly complements Webs pretty well, on the other hand. He’s able to skate, he’s able to make some passes and join the play and be effective at both ends of the ice. “

Two goals for Lehkonen

Lehkonen doubled his season total with his two goals against the Rangers, both coming in the second period.

His first goal came after a nice breakout pass along the boards from Paul Byron who sent Lehkonen breaking down the left wing before beating Georgiev with a nice shot to the blocker side. Lehkonen’s second goal came off a brutal giveaway by Rangers defender Man Neal Pionk from behind his own net and he beat Georgiev again to the blocker side with a quick shot.

“It was nice to see Lehkonen score a couple of goals , “Julien said.” He’s been snakebitten for a while now. Men når du bestemmer dig for at nok er nok, finner du måter å score og jeg trodde det første målet, du kunne se han begravet som skudd. Byron is back

Byron returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a lower body injury and logged 14:28 of ice time with one shot, a team-high five hits and a plus-1.

After the game, Byron admitted his timing was off a bit.

“I hope it does not take me too long,” he said. “But the timing, sometimes I skate myself out of position. You’re just unfamiliar with the way guys pass. First period felt a little bit rusty. Took a little bit to get into the game. Was not too happy with a couple of plays I made, but as the game progressed I felt better and better as the game went on. Got to rest up and get ready for tomorrow. It’s a big game for us. “

The Canadiens will play the San Jose Sharks Sunday night at the Bell Center (7 pm, SN, SN1, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

Sticking together

] It’s rare that forward lines stick together for an extended period of time in today’s NHL, but Julien has kept the line of Danault between Tatar and Gallagher intact since the start of training camp this season.

“I don ‘ I think I’ve been since junior, maybe, that long with two linemates, “Danault said after practice Friday. “It’s obviously great to be with them. Gally’s a big piece with us, too. I think we complete each other really well. We got to keep going and I’m sure we’ll get better when the season goes on. “

When asked what he enjoyed the most about playing with newcomer Tatar, Danault said:” Pretty much everything . His skill side, his work ethic. He’s everywhere on the ice, but he finds his way to score. But good skill, obviously. That’s what he brings to the line. And he’s not bad defensively, too. I think we complete each other really well. “

Tatar’s goal against the Rangers was his 11th of the season, tying him with Gallagher and Max Domi for the team lead.

Domi ended a three-game pointless streak when he picked up an assist on Weber’s first goal. Domi leads the Canadiens in scoring with 11-16-27 totals.

Power play a work in progress

The Canadiens spent time before, during and after practice Friday, working on their power play, which ranked 29th in the NHL heading into the game with a 14.4 percent success rate. The Canadiens went 1-for-2 on the power play against the Rangers with Tatar’s goal coming with the man’s advantage in the third period.

“We’re working on it,” Weber said about the power play after practice Friday. “Every day. Vi er møder, vi jobber på det før praksis, vi jobber på det etter øvelsen. I think you guys know that. We’re trying to sort it out. “

Weber’s return to the lineup should definitely help the power play.

” Just trying to get on the same page with breakouts, in zone, ” defenceman Jeff Petry said Friday when asked what specifically they are working on with the power play. “Det er sikkert at vi vet at alle er ansvar, hvor alle trenger å være og hva deres tankeprosess er når de får pucken, hva deres valg er. I think it’s just kind of clarifying things that we’ve discussed. I think we’re going to work on it until we get this thing turned around. “

Said Drouin about the power play:” Weby just came back, so we’re trying to feel comfortable, feel for the right plays He’s been back for one game, so it’s just getting those spots, getting those areas. Gally’s changing spots as well. He’s not in the front anymore. He’s high for shots. Dus iedereen is kind of voeling elkaar uit. It’s going to take a couple of games. “

What’s next?

The Canadiens will be back in action Sunday night at the Bell Center when the San Jose Sharks will be the visitors (7 pm, SN1, RDS, TSN 690 Radio). The Canadiens will not have a morning skate on Sunday.

Next week, the Canadiens will play back-to-back games against the Senators on Tuesday at the Bell Center (7:30 pm, TSN2, TSN5, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and Thursday in Ottawa (7:30 pm, TSN2, TSN5, RDS, TSN 690 Radio). The Canadiens will then have a rare Saturday night off before visiting the Chicago Blackhawks next Sunday (6 pm, SN, SN1, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

[email protected] StuCowan1


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