By Heather Engel
MONTREAL — While Kyle Baun was the name of the night in the Blackhawks’ preseason win over the Montreal Canadiens, his center wasn’t without his fair share of attention.
Andrew Desjardins picked up the first of his two assists with a soft drop pass to Baun, kicking off the line’s offensive contribution.
“He’s a good addition to our team. Late in the year last year, I thought he gave us some presence, a little more bit to our team game,” Coach Joel Quenneville said of the veteran. “The puck seems to follow him around, he’s good in tight areas and the puck seems to go for him in scrum areas.
“We like the attitude that he came to our team with and tonight he had one of those games that you might not forget.”
Desjardins centered Baun for the second time this preseason and the two appear to have found some chemistry.
“He just keeps it simple,” Baun said. “He plays a very up and down game, which I think I try to do as well and plays physical, creates a lot of space and openings on the ice for everyone on our team. Definitely makes it easy to play with him.”
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The line led the way in the Blackhawks’ second win in three preseason games but Quenneville was pleased with what he saw from all of his skaters. That included Marko Dano, who suited up alongside new linemates Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Garbutt after spending the much of the start of camp with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
“You talk about everybody tonight and you’d have very positive stories. Teuvo is really responsible in all zones, had the puck a lot, sees plays, makes plays, both sides of it. Garbs gives you some speed and then Dano is a threat to score. Talk about every line; they were all good tonight.”
— Quenneville said before the game that the Blackhawks would likely pare down the roster after Saturday’s game, leaving one practice group of five-to-six lines, eight-to-nine defensemen and three goalies.
— Marcus Kruger should play in the last two games on the exhibition schedule.
— Asked about the effect of Patrick Kane’s situation in the room, Quenneville said “The guys have been good. We don’t talk about it. You hear things but I think it’s business as usual.” As for Kane, “You gotta commend him. His approach has been very business-like. He’s trying to get his game in order, like a lot of guys are.”