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Dynamic duo

Shea Weber and Ben Chiarot are one of the best defensive pairings in the NHL right now

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski. @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - Shea Weber and Ben Chiarot are enjoying the best season of their respective careers.

Weber joined a select group on Wednesday night when the Canadiens edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in overtime at the Bell Centre. With an assist on Nick Cousins' goal in the first period, Weber collected his 26th point of the year.

That ties him for fifth, alongside three other players, for the most points amassed by a Canadiens defenseman during the first 32 games of a season since 1984-85.

Who are the others to accomplish this feat with Montreal? Let's just say that Weber has some good company, including Larry Robinson (35 points) in 1985-86, Chris Chelios (32 points) in 1987-88 and 30 points in 1988-89, and Sheldon Souray (29 points) in 2006-07. They're the only blueliners to surpass the 26-point mark in their first 32 games of a season.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Juste un 5e match de suite avec au moins un point pour le capitaine. 🤷���������The captain extends his points streak to five games.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/7Do0BPCJ4w

And who was the last defenseman to post 26 points in his first 32 games? It was Andrei Markov in 2008-09. The Russian enjoyed the most productive season of his career, registering 12 goals and 64 points in 78 games.

Weber also set an NHL mark during Tuesday night's 4-1 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

With his 10th goal of the season, the Sicamous, BC native hit double digits in that department for the 11th time in his career. Weber is the only active defenseman in the League to have 11 seasons of 10 goals or more.

The imposing rearguard's 10th marker was rather unique, wouldn't you agree?

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Comme �� NHL 95. 🎮Straight outta NHL 95. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/ZCmKd1NTdR

Weber currently ranks third in goals among defensemen this season, behind only John Carlson of the Washington Capitals and Dougie Hamilton of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Capitaine avantage num��rique. 💯Captain Power Play.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/3pUf1nDkZr

The former second-round selection (49th overall) of the Nashville Predators in 2003 is also leading the Canadiens in several categories.

He ranks first with a plus-11 differential and 62 blocked shots.

The captain is trending towards surpassing the career-high 23 goals and 56 points he collected during the 2013-14 season in Music City.

For his part, Chiarot scored the game-winning goal against the Senators in the extra frame.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Ben Chiarot marque le but gagnant @EASportsNHL 3 contre 3!Ben Chiarot with tonight's @EASportsNHL 3-on-3 winner!#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/2eWf1UfAUZ

It was his second game-winner of the season. The other came on November 5 against the Boston Bruins.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: L'gros Ben avec l'gros but.BIG Ben with the BIG goal. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/yj4Rf3jibo

His two game-deciding markers is a career-high. He's also just one goal shy of matching his single-season high of five goals set last season with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Hamilton, ON native also ranks second behind Weber with a plus-9 differential and 53 blocked shots.

In addition to contributing offensively, Chiarot is playing big minutes for Montreal. The former fourth-round selection (120th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009 is the most-utilized player in the NHL since the start of December. His ice time of 164:24 in six games has him atop the list.

Chiarot was utilized for more than 25 minutes in six of the last seven games.

It's clear that Weber and Chiarot have formed one of the most productive and efficient pairings in the NHL since being reunited.

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