Canadiens unveil new prospect in matchup with Senators

Canadiens unveil new prospect in matchup with Senators

The Montreal Canadiens got bang for their buck in their last game with two late-round draft picks.

The Canadians hope promoting a high-draft pick can help their cause on Saturday as they open a home-and-home series against the hosts Ottawa Senators. The Atlantic Division rivals meet again in Montreal on Tuesday.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard had two goals and an assist, and Michael Pezzetta had one each in Canada’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Harvey-Pinard, 24, was selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL draft.

Pezzetta, also 24, was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

“We have to prove every night that we deserve a spot on this lineup and we give 100 percent,” Harvey-Pinard said, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis likes what he’s seen since Harvey-Pinard and Pezzetta were called out of the American Hockey League by Laval earlier this month.

“I’m not surprised,” St. Louis said. “These two guys are hockey players. These are guys who show up and work. They take nothing for granted and they deserve what happens to them.”

The basement-based Canadian is hoping forward Owen Beck can make a similar impact after he was called up by the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes on Friday. He was called up after captain Nick Suzuki and fellow strikers Kirby Dach and Christian Dvorak missed Friday’s practice session for treatments.

The 18-year-old Beck averaged 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 37 games this season, split between the Mississauga Steelheads and Petes. He was selected by the Canadians in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft.

The Senators have answered a dismal 2-6-0 stretch by winning back-to-back games, including a 6-2 decision over provincial rivals Toronto on Friday. Captain Brady Tkachuk scored twice and Drake Batherson also scored in the Battle of Ontario.

“We didn’t sit back. I’ve found that for the past few years we’ve just sat back and watched them play,” Batherson told the Ottawa Sun of previous games against the Maple Leafs. “Sometimes they had a good push but we came back and responded with a big goal or a big game. We went towards them, even in the third goal we scored a few more. It was great.”

Tkachuk and Batherson each collected a goal and an assist in Ottawa’s 3-2 win over Montreal on December 14.

Claude Giroux has scored and assisted in consecutive games for Ottawa.

Anton Forsberg, who made 31 saves on Friday, is expected to receive the majority of starts while fellow goalkeeper Cam Talbot is sitting out with a lower body injury. Forsberg carries a 4-0-0 record with a .916 save percentage in five career encounters with the Canadians.

Montreal’s Sam Montembeault has been confirmed for his second career start against Ottawa. He scored three goals from 31 shots in last month’s encounter with the Senators.

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