MTL@OTT: About Saturday night...
The Canadiens remain unbeaten in preseason action after defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-0by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com
KANATA - Here are a few key storylines from Saturday night's 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Solid debut for Kinkaid
Goaltender Keith Kinkaid played an excellent first preseason game as a Hab. The 30-year-old veteran, who signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on July 1, made key saves all throughout the game.
The Farmingville, NY native said he was pleased with his first outing in bleu-blanc-rouge.
"I felt pretty good once I settled in. The first half of the first period was tough. I wasn't getting a lot of shots; you want to see something early," explained Kinkaid. "There are always things to improve on. We're going to take a look at the video. We're just happy to keep our 4-0 record in the preseason and hopefully, we can bring that into the season too."
Video: MTL@OTT: Kinkaid extends for marvelous glove save
The netminder finished the night having stopped all 27 shots he faced to earn the shutout. For his efforts, Kinkaid was named first star of the game on Saturday.
For head coach Claude Julien, Kinkaid's performance made for an excellent first impression.
"A very good performance. The other team tried to bother him a bit; I think he handled it well," outlined the Habs bench boss. "A solid game with some big saves. I really liked his game."
Excellent night for special teams
Another key factor in the Habs' fourth straight preseason win was the work of their special teams units.
Montreal managed to kill off three penalties in the first period alone, allowing just two shots on goal.
What's more, the Canadiens were also perfect with the man advantage, scoring three goals in three tries thanks to tallies from Jeff Petry, Tomas Tatar, and Phillip Danault.
Video: MTL@OTT: Petry buries the loose puck for PPG
The head coach believes the power play is headed in the right direction.
"It's getting there. We still don't have all the pieces. But it's a good sign. I think the most important thing is the concept the guys are doing. They're executing what we ask of them," mentioned Julien. "We're spending more time in the offensive zone and getting a lot more chances. We capitalized tonight by scoring three goals."
Montreal finished the game with a 100% success rate on both the power play and penalty kill.
Video: MTL@OTT: Danault tips home Petry's shot for PPG
Suzuki delivers another strong performance
Youngster Nick Suzuki once again made a case for himself with Habs management on Saturday against the Senators.
This time, the Vegas Golden Knights' first-round pick (13th overall) in 2017 found himself on the right wing on a line with Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar, and the 20-year-old loved the experience.
"It was a lot of fun. Playing with those two guys was really easy, just the plays we were making were awesome," shared Suzuki, who saw 16:02 of ice time. "I definitely had to bury that [pass] for Phil."
The London, ON native also earned a helper on Tatar's power play marker.
Video: MTL@OTT: Tatar extends lead with power-play goal
Following the game, it was Danault's turn to sing the praises of the young forward.
"We see his potential, it's huge. He's like a little magician. He's very intelligent; he's always in the right place," described Danault. "He can play defense and he has good speed on top of exceptional hands. His hockey sense is really a step above the rest."
The Canadiens' next preseason game takes place on Monday at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs.