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Lehkonen: Putting defensemen on notice

With his cat-like reflexes, Artturi Lehkonen has been making opponents pay for their mistakes of late

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - If Artturi Lehkonen is hovering close by, opposition defensemen better beware.

The 24-year-old Finnish left-winger has a quick stick and is more than capable of capitalizing on the smallest mistake.

Remember when he made veteran blueliner Kris Letang pay for a passing error over the weekend that led to his second goal of the game against the Penguins?

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: C'est bon pour un 100e point dans la LNH! Bravo Lehky!There it is. Point #������1������0������0������ in the NHL!#GoHabsGo | @arsilehkonen

Well, Lehkonen was back at it again on Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.

The victim this time around was young rearguard Filip Hronek, who won't forget this particular slip-up anytime soon.

After intercepting Hronek's pass attempt, the former second-round selection turned on the jets and wasn't going to be caught.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Voil�� comment on s'occupe d'un d��savantage num��rique.And that's how you handle the P.K.#GoHabsGo

The fact that the tally came short-handed was a just reward for Lehkonen, who logs big minutes while the Habs are down a man.

He is the club's fourth-most utilized penalty killer through 44 games, averaging 2:19 per outing under those circumstances.

It was Lehkonen's first short-handed goal of the year, and the third of his career.

That was also Lehkonen's 10th goal of the season, and it marked the fourth consecutive year in which he reached double digits in that department.

He became the seventh Canadiens player to accomplish the feat this season, joining Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, Shea Weber, Max Domi and Phillip Danault.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Dur de dire qui a fait le plus beau jeu l��-dessus. 🤩Tough to say who made the nicer play on this goal.#GoHabsGo

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: C'est la soir��e des doubl��s..............Shea? 🤔We're doing things in twos....right, Shea?#GoHabsGo

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: GOOD STICK LEHKY.#GoHabsGo

Lehkonen, who logged a season-high 19:27 of ice time versus Detroit, is certainly trending in the right direction numbers-wise.

He boasts three goals in his last three games. 

He also owns a shooting percentage of 11.4% (10 goals on 88 shots) during the 2019-20 campaign. That matches the career-high he set as a rookie in 2016-17.

Lehkonen's 96 hits aren't too shabby, either. He's clearly on pace to surpass the career-high 120 he dished out in 82 games last year.

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