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MTL@CGY: About Thursday night...

Down early and down late again, the Canadiens weren't about to surrender to the Flames

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

CALGARY - Here are a few key storylines from Thursday night's 4-3 overtime win at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Fighting back

Truth be told, things weren't looking good for the Canadiens after 20 minutes.

Trailing by a pair, head coach Claude Julien challenged his group to come up with a better effort in the second period, and it worked.

Goals by Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia sent the contest into the final frame all tied up.

"You challenge the guys because we're a team that can play better than we did in the first period," said Julien. "We came on the road to have success. It was important to rebound."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Comment il a fait ��a? 📐How'd he do that?#GoHabsGo

The veteran bench boss wholeheartedly believed that his players were capable of overcoming the hole they found themselves in early on.

And he sincerely admires their resiliency.

"There's a certain amount that happens in that dressing room with leadership and pushing each other, and this is a group that respects each other to the point where they can push each other without taking it personally," explained Julien. "That's where I think we're getting better as a team."

Even when they fell behind again in the third period, there was zero quit.

Nick Suzuki tied things up with 8:02 remaining in regulation, before Max Domi sealed the deal in overtime to complete another impressive comeback.

"This group is in it together. We want to win it for the guy next to us on either side, and that's what we're doing," said Domi, who snapped an 11-game goal drought with his seventh marker of the season. "We're a real tight-knit group, and we're leaving it all out there every night."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Max Domi ��tait tout feu, tout FLAMME apr��s avoir marqu�� le but gagnant @EASportsNHL �� 3 contre 3! 😏Max Domi was FIRED up after scoring tonight's @EASportsNHL 3-on-3 winner!#GoHabsGo

Nice work, Nick!

You couldn't help but admire the way Suzuki went about his business against the Flames.

In addition to scoring the game-tying goal, the 20-year-old London, ON native also registered a team-high six of the Canadiens' 43 shots on Flames starter David Rittich during his 17:28 of ice time.

Julien didn't mince words when asked for his thoughts on Suzuki's body of work.

"He's a guy with a lot of talent. When he plays like that, it helps a lot. The way he played, he didn't look like a young rookie," praised Julien. "He was involved in a lot of different areas. I don't want to see him just make great plays on the power play, but 5-on-5 he's very capable of creating a lot of stuff for himself and for others. It was one of his better games, no doubt. I like the direction he's going."

Video: Nick Suzuki on his performance against the Flames

So does Carey Price, who has quickly become a fan of Suzuki's skill set.

"His hockey IQ is exceptional," evaluated Price. "He's obviously a gifted skater, he sees the ice well, and he's complimenting the players around him."

On a personal note, snapping a 12-game goal-drought felt really good as well.

"I had a few chances the first couple of periods and they just weren't going in. I had a few chances the past couple of games. I just had to stick with it," emphasized Suzuki. "I feel like when I get the puck, I can make all the plays. It was nice to finally get one."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: 𝒴𝑜𝓊𝓃𝑔 𝒮𝓉. 𝒩𝒾𝒸𝓀 🎅#GoHabsGo

Why the sudden turnaround?

It wasn't that long ago that everything was going wrong for the Canadiens. Remember that eight-game winless streak? Well, it's officially a thing of the past.

Since snapping that skid with a victory over the New York Islanders on December 3, the Habs have won six of their last eight games.

How do you explain that, Carey?

"A combination of better play, better defensive play, and fortunate bounces," said Price. "It seems to be the usual recipe for success."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Si vous aimez les shimmies, alors vous aimerez cette vid��o. 🕺If you like shimmies, then you'll love this video.#GoHabsGo | @NateThompson44 | @max_domi

Sounds about right, but another good challenge awaits on Saturday in Edmonton against an Oilers team that boasts the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl up front.

In other words, your Canadiens will be put to the test again in enemy territory.

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