Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pair of Wins Ease Pain of Rough Weekend for Canadiens Centre Drouin

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pair of Wins Ease Pain of Rough Weekend for Canadiens Centre Drouin

Article excerpt

Habs' Drouin all smiles after rough weekend

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BROSSARD, Que. - It was a rough weekend for Jonathan Drouin.

The Montreal Canadiens centre left the ice in pain and was taken to hospital for tests after being hit in the upper ribs by a Karl Alzner shot in the second period of a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

The following afternoon, he had his face bashed into the crossbar and later took a high stick to the face from Erik Karlsson in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

The 22-year-old was able to smile it about it after practice on Tuesday. Not only did the Canadiens win both games, but he came away with nothing more than some sore ribs.

"A lot of action on my weekend," he said. "But sometimes it's you that's going to get a stick or get hit into a post."

The shot from teammate Alzner ended up looking worse than it was.

"I was pretty worried," said Drouin. "I had trouble breathing at that point.

"Sometimes you're just hoping it's not blocking one of your lungs or something like that. But it was precautionary. Everything was good on that side. It was more of a bruise than anything."

The Karlsson high stick, which drew a double minor penalty, ended up as the key to victory for the Canadiens as it handed them a five-on-three advantage when they were down 1-0, plus an extended power play after Jeff Petry tied the game, on which Arturri Lehkonen scored.

For all the struggles the Canadiens have endured this season, the power play has become a bright spot. In the two games, it went five-for-10 to move into seventh place in the NHL with a 21.6 per cent success rate.

Even more surprising is that the power play has scored on 17 of 57 chances -- 29.8 per cent -- in the 20 games since Dec. 19 when Shea Weber went on the injured list.

It appears that losing Weber and his booming point shot has forced the rest of the unit to find other ways to score, but coach Claude Julien doesn't buy that reasoning. …

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