The Montreal Canadiens received plenty of bang for their buck from a pair of late-round draft picks in their last game.
The Canadiens hope the promotion of a high draft pick can aid their cause on Saturday when they open a home-and-home series against the host Ottawa Senators. The Atlantic Division rivals will reconvene in Montreal on Tuesday.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard collected two goals and an assist, and Michael Pezzetta had one of each in the Canadiens' 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Harvey-Pinard, 24, was a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Pezzetta, also 24, was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
"We have to prove that we deserve a spot in this lineup, every night, and we're going at 100 percent," Harvey-Pinard said, per the Montreal Gazette.
Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis likes what he's seen since Harvey-Pinard and Pezzetta were recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League earlier this month.
"It doesn't surprise me," St. Louis said. "These two guys are hockey players. These are guys who show up and work. They take nothing for granted and they deserve what is happening to them."
The cellar-dwelling Canadiens hope forward Owen Beck can provide a similar impact after he was recalled from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League on an emergency basis on Friday. He was summoned after captain Nick Suzuki and fellow forwards Kirby Dach and Christian Dvorak missed practice Friday for treatments.
Beck, 18, totaled 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 37 games this season split between the Mississauga Steelheads and Petes. He was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft.
The Senators have answered a dismal 2-6-0 stretch by winning back-to-back games, including a 6-2 decision over provincial rival Toronto on Friday. Captain Brady Tkachuk scored two goals and Drake Batherson also tallied in the Battle of Ontario.
"We didn't sit back. I've found that in years past, we would just sit back and watch them play," Batherson told the Ottawa Sun of previous games versus the Maple Leafs. "At times, they had a good push, but we came back and answered with a big goal or a big play. We went at them, even in the third we scored a couple more. It was awesome."
Tkachuk and Batherson each collected a goal and an assist in Ottawa's 3-2 victory over Montreal on Dec. 14.
Claude Giroux has scored and set up a goal in back-to-back games for Ottawa.
Anton Forsberg, who made 31 saves on Friday, is expected to receive the bulk of the starts while fellow goaltender Cam Talbot sit outs because of a lower-body injury. Forsberg sports a 4-0-0 record with a .916 save percentage in five career encounters with the Canadiens.
Montreal's Sam Montembeault has been confirmed to receive his second career start against Ottawa. He yielded three goals on 31 shots in last month's meeting versus the Senators.
--Field Level Media