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In the Habs room: Jonathan Drouin, Jacob de la Rose get kudos from coach

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    Marc Kocur
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    When youre counting down the days to the end of a season that has been a major disappointment, you look for any encouraging signs. There were several of those in the Canadiens 5-3 loss to the Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.Start with centres Jacob de la Rose and Jonathan Drouin. They were matched up against two of the best players in the worldSidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkinand they werent overwhelmed https://www.penguinsfansteamstore.com/Carter_Rowney_Jersey-31.They handled it the best they could, coach Claude Julien said. I dont have the Bergerons and those guys have to learn to do those things. Overall, they did well. The was a tip-in and Malkin scored on a power play.It was Drouin who merited a special mention from the coach.Jonathan continues to thrive on those assignments, Julien said.Drouin might have had his best game of the season in the faceoff circle as he won 11 of 14, mostly against Malkin. He also showed more determination to shoot the puck. He had two shots on goal, had four blocked and was off target on five others. But his most impressive play of the night was in the second period, when his strong forechecking effort led to Nicolas Deslauriers goal, which lifted the Canadiens into a 3-3 tie.You have to give credit to Dru was at the end of his shift and he outbattled the two defencemen in the corner and set it on a tee for me, Deslauriers said. I found myself by myself.The play started when the two guys went off and Dru stayed on and battled and he got some support from Carrsy, Deslauriers said. When you change two guys and one guy keeps going on the forecheck, it gives the other team problems. He created some chaos there.The Penguins had a 39-20 edge in shots on goal and Deslauriers offered an explanation.I think there were some times where we overpassed, he said. You can take notes on their last goal. Hagelin came up over the blue-line and he takes a wrister. It wasnt an overly hard shot Jarred Tinordi Jersey, but there are guys in front for it to bounce off. You have to put the puck at the net.I thought they blocked a lot of shots, Julien added. They blocked the shooting lanes and they forced us to pass. There were not enough pucks going to the net for my liking. They shut us down. Theyre the Stanley Cup champs for a reason.De la Rose was given the task of shadowing Crosby and, while the Pittsburgh star had the edge in the faceoff circle, he was limited to one assist.The 22-year-old de la Rose said he didnt need this game to convince himself that he can play in the NHL, but obviously I can take this experience with me and try to bring it to the next game.He the full package, de la Rose said when asked about Crosby. He a strong skater, good hands and he can play defence.The one player who had his way with the Canadiens was Patric Hornqvist Mario Lemieux Jersey, who scored two goals, including the winner in the third period. It safe to say Hornqvist got the bounceshis first goal went in off Paul Byron stick and the second was a tip-in at the crease, but Hornqvist showed the value of getting to the net and getting pucks to the net. He accounted for 10 of the Penguins 39 shots on goal.

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