Pacioretty makes it a laugher, 3-0 over Hurricanes
Max Pacioretty insisted he was not feeling frustrated being stuck at 0 goals on the season. The goals would come, he insisted. Better the team's winning than he's scoring.
Now the Habs finally have the best of both worlds.
"It's a confidence boost for him," Coach Michel Therrien admitted.
Pacioretty scored on a 3rd period bouncing routine dump in from the Montreal side of centre ice just 18 seconds after Tomas Plekanec had blasted a shot off Ward's shoulder and by him for a potential insurance goal.
Pacioretty was not available to comment after the game because of medical treatment---presumably on the rib he injured falling on a Flyers' skate Saturday and not the cheek he busted smiling about his goal.
Peter Budaj won his 2nd straight start, earning his first shutout as a Hab and first since the 2010-11 season.
The Canadiens set things right with Coach Kirk even before puck drop. But they weren't going to make nice once the game was on.
Alex Galchenyuk led some impressive drives into the Hurricanes zone only to have Brandon Prust fire a loose puck past Cam Ward early in the 3rd period. Lars Eller also picked up an assist on the play.
The 19-year old rookie earned only his 2nd point in the last 8 games while Prust scored his first goal since Game 4 of the season.
The likeable Habs ex-player and coach was granted facetime on the giant scoreboard over centre ice during the anthems---vintage footage showing Kirk Muller lined up on the blueline during the anthems as a Canadiens player.
During last spring's visit when Randy Cunneyworth had been installed as Habs' head coach Muller was conspicuous by his absence from the big screen.
CJAD and Sports Illustrated's Mike Farber this morning called for the Habs to do the right thing and welcome back their "Captain Kirk" by giving him his due on screen.
The Canadiens then clamped down on the Hurricanes, limiting them to just 1 shot on goal in the first 6 minutes.
By late in the 2nd period the Canadiens had doubled the Carolina shot total and outchanced the Hurricanes heavily but failed to grab a lead.
PK Subban tried to ignite his club with 2 thundering hits along the boards---old school hip checks on Hurricanes who had to be wary of Subban down the left and the right wings.
In the 2nd, Subban set up Tomas Plekanec on a 2-on-1 after jumping out of the penalty box only to have Cam Ward make a kick save with the right leg.
At the start of the period, Ward used the blocker hand to frustrate David Desharnais in close.
Ryan White returned to duty at centre, with Lars Eller moved to a line with Desharnais and Pacioretty due to rookie Brendan Gallagher's concussion.
Coach Therrien admitted White "didn't need a lecture" about playing smart, and was given penalty-killing responsibilities with Eller.