Habs’ Pacioretty comes to life in Game 4 vs. Bolts, scores shorthanded beauty

The Canadiens entered Game 4 of their second-round series against Tampa Bay trailing 3-0, but got out to a strong start on the road in part thanks to contributions on offense from winger Max Pacioretty, whose first-period shorthanded goal gave them a 2-0 advantage.

One of the reasons the Montreal Canadiens were on the brink of elimination Thursday was the lack of production on offense from key players including winger Max Pacioretty. But in Game 4 against the host Tampa Bay Lightning, the Habs broke out to a 2-0 lead thanks in part to Pacioretty capitalizing on a shorthanded opportunity for his third goal of the playoffs.

Pacioretty, who had five goals and 11 points in 17 post-season games for Montreal last year, had just three points (all goals) in the Canadiens’ first eight playoff games this season. But with the Habs up 1-0 nearing the nine-minute mark of the first period and the Bolts on a power play, defenseman Tom Gilbert backhanded a shot off the boards from Montreal’s zone and Pacioretty picked up the puck inside Tampa’s blueline; the 26-year-old barely had it on his stick long enough to fire a wrist shot past Ben Bishop and give the Canadiens a two-goal advantage:

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Pacioretty drew the second assist on Montreal’s first goal of the night, and helped chase Bishop from the Lightning’s net after David Desharnais’ goal at 5:08 of the second period. The Habs will need more from both of them to climb back in the series.