By Heather Engel
MONTREAL — With the Blackhawks' big names at home, Kyle Baun made an even bigger name for himself.
Baun scored twice and added an assist to help lead the Blackhawks to a 5-1 over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night at the Bell Centre. Skating with Andrew Desjardins and Garret Ross, the line combined for seven points and nine of the Blackhawks' 31 shots on goal.
“I thought last year he played three games like he did tonight,” head coach Joel Quenneville said of Baun. “He really was noticeable, made an impact in the game, was in the puck areas around the net, tenacity, physical.
“We came in here watching him closely and the progress is good.”
Ross picked up a goal and an assist, while Desjardins contributed with two assists.
The power play got things started for the Blackhawks. Trevor Daley took a cross-ice feed from Teuvo Teravainen and fed David Rundblad at the point for the one-timer, deflected by Ryan Garbutt in front at 8:41 of the first period.
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Playing with Desjardins for the second time in as many preseason games, Baun acknowledged a chemistry between the two. It was clear on the Blackhawks’ second goal, which saw Desjardins deliver a soft drop pass to Baun before the later dished off to a driving Ross who, uncovered, finished off the tic-tac-toe play to the right of Carey Price.
Baun picked up his first of the night just over three minutes later. Daley’s point shot turned into a loose puck in front, Baun pounced on it to beat Price glove side.
“He’s big and strong, he skates well and good with the puck, too. I think he’s getting better and better all the time,” Desjardins said.
After the Canadiens got on the board 25 seconds into the middle period on an unassisted Zack Kassian tally, Baun found the net again at 3:02. Desjardins tossed the puck from the right corner, the disc deflecting of a Canadiens defenseman’s stick and Baun’s to find its way past Price.
“It was definitely exciting,” Baun said of putting up points on Price. “I was just trying to go to the net and they were a little greasy, but I’ll definitely take them. Those two guys made it easy to play with them, and it just worked out.”
Jan Hejda completed the scoring with an empty-netter.