Max Pacioretty Scores Twice In OT Win Vs. Stars

Photo by Glenn James / NHLI via Getty Images

Max Pacioretty Scores Twice In OT Win Vs. Stars

Max Pacioretty scored twice, including the overtime winner, as the Habs beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 Wednesday night in Dallas.

The game started with an opening goal by Nathan Beaulieu, at the halfway point of the first period, when Phillip Danault‘s pass found his stick as he skated toward the net. A quick release and the puck went in over Kari Lehtonen‘s shoulder:

Four minutes later, however, the Stars tied the game, and the first period ended in a tie.

In the second period, the Stars went ahead, 2-1, on a power play, and the Habs were unable to score this frame.

The third period saw Alexander Radulov scoring the tying goal Рwith assists from Beaulieu and Shea Weber. It was a power-play goal, with Radulov splitting the Dallas defensemen to score the goal:

Less than 2 minutes later, Pacioretty got the go-ahead goal, on another power play, with the same players assisting. Beaulieu’s assist on Pacioretty’s goal gave him 3 points for the night – his first career 3-point game.

Considering the fact that just seconds earlier, Brendan Gallagher had sprinted off the ice, his hand having taken the brunt of a Shea Weber slapshot, the goal was that much sweeter.

Here’s the injury to Gallagher (he did not return), and the Pacioretty goal:

The Stars fought to get back into the game, and were rewarded just 2-1/2 minutes before the period ended, when they tied it.

The OT did not last long. Just 19 seconds in, Max Pacioretty got a pass from Jeff Petry, broke away from the two Stars players chasing him, and went five-hole on Lehtonen:

It was an important win. Earlier in the game, Paul Byron also left the ice, and it was announced he would not return (“upper-body injury”). That injury happened when he was checked hard by Patrick Sharpe. Torrey Mitchell proceeded to let Sharpe know he wasn’t happy with that hit, and they fought it out:

Still, the Habs – despite losing two key players in just this game alone, aside from the ones already missing – stepped up and played for the two points.

In his post-game presser, Max Pacioretty expressed deep pride in his team for continuing to push after losing two forwards in the game. He humbly turned the attention to his teammates for their tenacity, in spite of his strong showing in this game, and it speaks well for the team that their captain thinks so highly of their efforts.

He mentioned the last time they were in Dallas, and a “remembered interview” he had given that night. It was after a 6-2 loss to the Stars, and Pacioretty dropped the “F-bomb” in his interview. The Habs had been losing more often than not, back then, and after Wednesday’s game, he invoked that rough go, remarking on how very different things are a year later.

It will be a tough blow should either Byron or Gallagher find themselves unable to return to the line-up in the next few days. The Habs are already down 4 players, and the two who left the game in Dallas are as important to the team as any of the others. The injury to Byron is unknown, but Gallagher seems to have injured the same hand that set him back last season, when he had surgery for broken fingers. Let’s hope we get good news this time.

Al Montoya, with 39 saves, got a very well-deserved win; he’d struggled for a couple of months, won the game in Florida just a few days ago,¬†and had a solid night in nets Wednesday against Dallas.

The Habs conclude their road trip Saturday night, in Toronto, where they will face the Leafs who have won 6 of their last 10 games. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m.

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