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Scout's Take: Pens 3, Habs 2 (OT)

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings and observations from Penguins amateur scout Luc Gauthier on Pittsburgh's 3-2 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

* Gauthier has been most impressed by the Penguins' ability to gain points in the standings in spite of all their injuries. He mentioned the point they picked up against San Jose and, again, picking up two tonight against Montreal.

"To be able to keep up against some very good teams and be able to get some points almost every night is the key right now. From Day 1 of training camp until today I think we've played very well."

Video: PIT@MTL: Tanev cleans up rebound for OT winner

* Gauthier said the one forward that caught his eye the most in tonight's game was Brandon Tanev, and he said this even before he scored the game-winning overtime goal. Tanev's speed "jumps out at you" anytime you watch a game.

"I think Tanev has played pretty well. He's had some scoring chances. Just hadn't been able to finish until it counted most. He's got speed. That's the type of game we're trying to play, a fast game."

* And speaking of speed and contributing, the Penguins arguably wouldn't be in the current position they are without the career year that Bryan Rust is having. He managed to tie the game in the third period with his 17th goal of the season after nearly deflecting a Jack Johnson shot, then collected the puck after it caromed off the backboards and slipping it into the goal.

"He's playing so well with his speed. And he's a competitor. He's not a bigger guy, but he's in your face."

* On the backend, Gauthier lauded the team's youth. They weren't perfect tonight, but they've been exceeding most expectations. And their effort and progression has been a major factor in Pittsburgh's success.

"We ask a lot of our young players like (Marcus) Pettersson and (John) Marino. There were some turnovers tonight, but nothing major. All year long they have been very, very consistent. It's only Pettersson's third year in the NHL. And Marino has played some big, big minutes. It's not easy to play in this league and be consistent day in and day out, and on the road.

Then he noted Juuso Riikola's contributions as well. 

"Look at our six D-men, and three of them haven't played 200 (NHL) games yet, compared to other teams."

* And when it comes to youth, the forward unit isn't too far behind.

"Look at our group. (Dominik) Simon is in his third year in the league. (Teddy) Blueger is a young puppy. (Zach) Aston-Reese is a young puppy. It's (Thomas) Di Pauli's first game. We have five guys in front and three guys on the backend that are good, young players."

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