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Primetime performer

Shea Weber is proving to be an absolute force for the Canadiens in every facet of the game

by Matt Cudzinowski @canadiensmtl /

BROOKLYN - There's no denying the impact Shea Weber has had early on this season - at both ends of the rink. It's been nothing short of remarkable.

On Wednesday night, Weber continued to be an absolute force on offense, scoring the game-winning goal on the power play with 2:57 remaining in regulation time to lift the Canadiens to their fifth straight victory - a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. 

Weber, who also picked up an assist against the Islanders, compiled his third multi-point effort in the last four games, too, and he now stands as the team's top point-getter with nine points in seven outings so far this season.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, upped their record to 6-0-1 and remain the only squad that hasn't suffered a loss in regulation time on the year.

"We got our one opportunity and you want to make good on those. Power play should be a difference-maker. Penalty kill should be the same thing. We've got to be able to win team games at times and we were able to do that," said Weber, whose third tally of the season came off a trademark point blast that left Islanders netminder Thomas Greiss completely helpless on the play.

 "I knew Petey [Jeff Petry] was going to pass it over. It was kind of rolling, so I just wanted to make sure I got good wood on it," added the 12-year NHL veteran. "I think [Travis] Hamonic went down in front of the goalie and it just found a way through."

Video: MTL@NYI: Habs take lead on Weber's PPG late in 3rd

Head coach Michel Therrien was quick to praise the efforts of his new charge, who continues to impress the veteran bench boss every single time he suits up and hits the ice.

"He had another big game. He made big plays at the right time. The power play lifted us to the win again for a second straight game. That was a big shot which was really tough to stop," mentioned Therrien, before expanding upon Weber's remarkable work since the start of the season. "You look at the way he plays and he's such a tough player to play against, in front of the net and in the corners. He has a good stick. Yes, the fact that he's able to pick up points like that is impressive, but his defensive play is the most important thing for us."

That being said, it's certainly a luxury to have a three-time 50-point-getter of Weber's calibre finding his offensive groove so quickly in October. After an 11-year stint in Nashville playing in the Western Conference, it seems like the newly-minted Canadiens No. 6 is picking up right where he left off in Tennessee and being as clutch as ever on the back end.

Video: Weber's late PPG lifts Canadiens over Islanders, 3-2

Even so, the 31-year-old Sicamous, BC native remains wholeheartedly humble when it comes to discussing his personal accomplishments, preferring instead to focus on the Canadiens' group effort.

"We've just got to win games, so it doesn't matter if that's blocking a big shot to win the game or scoring a goal. It's got to be a consistent effort from everyone and doing what it takes every night. Everybody has got to chip in," explained Weber, who says his transition to Montreal has been made a lot easier with everyone being on the same page from the start. "Everybody's doing the right things consistently through the lineup, up and down. It's a team effort."

Weber, though, gave a ton of credit to goaltender Al Montoya on Wednesday night for coming up big when the Canadiens needed him most. 

"We had a slow start, but [Al] Montoya played well for us," shared Weber, on the subject of Montoya's 26-save performance. "He was great in the first. We came on in the last five or six minutes of the period and played better after that. Obviously, he made some big saves at the end of the third period, and then we scored on the power play." 

Needless to say, Montoya was pleased to see Weber put the Canadiens over the top in dramatic fashion with time running short in the final frame.

"Even when he's generous with it, it still hurts," cracked Montoya, referencing Weber's All-World slap shot, something he sees at practice on a daily basis and in pre-game warmups, of course. "I think it was a bit of a knuckle puck [on that shot], so we'll take those all day."

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