Guillaume Latendresse had his first two-goal game of the season.
MONTREAL – With his hulking frame and dense growth of facial hair, it’s often easy to forget 20-year-old Guillaume Latendresse is only in his second NHL season. The way he’s been scoring lately, the big winger is hardly acting his age.
With two more goals against the Predators, Latendresse now has seven goals on the season. After stumbling out of the gate with only two goals in his first 16 games, Latendresse has potted five goals in his last eight contests, including three in as many games.
“I’m focusing on the finer details of my game and doing the little things,” explained Latendresse who, with his recent surge, is now on pace to eclipse the 16 goals he notched as a rookie in 2006-07. “I’m trying to be more aggressive in front of the net and bring a physical presence on every shift. I know that’s an important part of what I need to do to be successful.”
Skating on a line with veteran Mathieu Dandenault and rookie Kyle Chipchura against Nashville on Saturday, Latendresse enjoyed his first two-goal game since scoring a pair in a 5-3 victory over the Islanders on March 13 at the Bell Centre.
“Kyle and Dandy are guys who can apply pressure and create chances out there,” said Latendresse, the game’s second star. “They generate scoring opportunities by playing strong in both zones.”
Chipchura picked up his second two-assist effort of the season by helping set the table for each of Latendresse’s goals.
“He’s great to play with and we worked really hard as a line tonight,” said Chipchura. “There was definitely some good energy out there even though we couldn’t get the full two points.
“Gui is so big and strong, he’s an easy target to find out there,” added Chipchura, who also won gold with Team Canada at the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship with Latendresse. “All you’ve got to do is get him the puck and he’ll put it in the net. We saw that here tonight.”