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Two weeks ago, Rem Pitlick playing at Xcel Energy Center would have been nothing out of the ordinary.

But after exiting the Wild earlier this month, a Monday night game in St. Paul became a reunion for the former Gopher.

"It's definitely interesting," said Pitlick, who scored his second goal with Montreal against his former team in the 8-2 rout by the Wild.

The 24-year-old forward was claimed off waivers by the Canadiens on Jan. 12 and, while he's excited to be with Montreal, moving on from the Wild was challenging.

"It definitely hurt," Pitlick said during a virtual interview with reporters. "But it's a business. You get going again, and there's new connections to be made. It is the mecca of hockey in Montreal. I'm beyond blessed to be here now."

A former Shattuck-St. Mary's standout who grew up in Plymouth, Pitlick joined the Wild off waivers from the Predators during training camp.

He went on to appear in 20 games, tallying six goals and five assists. The highlight was Nov. 11 at Seattle when Pitlick became the 32nd player in NHL history to score a hat trick in the same game that included his first goal.

Eventually, though, Pitlick became a healthy scratch, and he didn't lock up the depth spot the team had available that ultimately went to forward Connor Dewar. But with the Canadiens, Pitlick's situation has changed. He's logging more minutes and even getting a look on the power play.

"I do not want to ignore a 200-foot game, and I think I have the tools, the skating ability and the stick to obviously not be a defensive liability," said Pitlick, who has an assist to go along with his two goals in six games with Montreal. "But my hope is to bring hockey IQ, skating ability and a scoring touch."

Talbot starts then leaves

Cam Talbot was back in net on Monday, his first start since he left the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 because of a lower-body injury, but Talbot didn't finish the game after tweaking the same injury but not in the same spot.

He left after two periods, exiting with 14 saves.

"Not serious, but why put him back in?" coach Dean Evason said. "That was our thought process. He definitely could've went."

Different strategy

Captain Jared Spurgeon made a smooth return to the lineup on Saturday after being out for more than a month, assisting on two goals and playing 23 minutes, 6 seconds in the 4-3 overtime win over the Blackhawks.

The defenseman was also involved in Monday's outcome, scoring his fourth goal of the season and adding an assist.

That was the second time this season the defenseman came back from the same lower-body injury, with Spurgeon and the Wild taking a more patient approach with his latest recovery.

"Skating-wise this time we just from the start put a date on when would be the first time to possibly even try to skate," said Spurgeon, who hopes the issue is behind him. "Before it was, 'Do you feel good that day?' and hop on the ice versus one was a hard no for a couple weeks. Then we slowly started integrating stuff back into the workout and off-ice stuff before getting back on the ice."

Roster move

The Wild assigned defenseman Calen Addison to Iowa in the American Hockey League.