Weal had two shots and won seven of 14 faceoffs in a season-high 19:04 in Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Blackhawks, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports.

Weal, a fourth-line center, was the beneficiary of extra playing time as coach Claude Julien sent a message to rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who played a season-low 7:56 in the loss. "He played a lot because he takes faceoffs on the right side and he's good at taking those draws. When [Kotkaniemi's] ice time got diminished, I put him at center with those two other forwards." Weal's ice time was more than every forward except Max Domi, and he played 3:48 on the power play. The 26-year-old forward appears to be in the coach's good graces, averaging 16:38 of ice time, including 3:32 on the power play, over the last four games.

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