MONTREAL – In only his second game of the season with the Montreal Canadiens, Max Pacioretty is already making his presence felt.
Pacioretty scored a goal and an assist as the Habs defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Thursday night.
Pacioretty, the leading scorer in the American Hockey League, was called up Wednesday when he made his season-debut in Montreal’s loss to Philadelphia. He played top-line minutes with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta in both games and has had an immediate impact.
“It’s helpful playing with guys who are so vocal,”said Pacioretty.“They are helping me on and off the ice and it’s been a big help.”
Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Max Lapierre also potted goals for Montreal (19-11-2), which snapped a three game losing streak. It was the first time they had lost three straight games this season.
Carey Price made 34 saves and picked up his 18th win of the season. Tim Thomas was strong in the loss making 37 stops.
For Price it was important to rebound after allowing five goals for the first time this season in the loss to the Flyers.
“I wasn’t to happy with our end result last game, but that’s the great thing about back-to-back games—you get another chance right away,”said Price.“I got the run support and it worked out for us.”
Marc Savard, Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler scored for Boston. It was Savard’s first goal of the year after missing the first 25 games of the season with post-concussion syndrome.
Boston was coming off a 3-2 loss to Buffalo at the HSBC arena on Wednesday.
“A loss is a loss, and although we battled hard to try to get back in the game, it’s hard to play catch up hockey in this league,”said Boston’s coach Claude Julien. “It’s a tough night.”
The game started with a penalty shot just 1:04 in when Lucic’s turnover lead to a Cammalleri breakaway and he was hooked. Cammalleri made no mistake with a forehand move that put Thomas down and out to open the scoring.
Thomas moved aggressively around the goalmouth as Cammalleri skated in on the penalty shot.
“Yeah I don’t know what Thomas was doing, he was jumping around and I guess trying to play some tricks,”said Cammalleri.
Montreal added to their lead at 6:23 of the first period. Lapierre gobbled up a loose puck in front and popped it over Thomas for his fifth goal of the season.
Wheeler got Boston on the board at 15:52 by throwing the puck to the front of the net from a bad angle and banking off Price and in.
Right after the goal P.K Subban caught Brad Marchand with a flush hit at the blue-line. Gregory Campbell tried to goat Subban into a fight but instead served a two-minute penalty for roughing.
“To be honest with you, I look for it,” said Subban. “If guys are going to come down wide, and if they are going to have their heads down, as a defenceman I’m going to step up and make a play.
“I don’t go looking to take guys heads off, I’m just trying to step up and make a good play.”
Montreal regained the two-goal lead just a Campbell was stepping out of the box. Pacioretty shot the puck off Andrew Ference’s skate and in.
Savard scored the first goal of the second period by deflecting a Ference point shot over Price’s blocker.
Pacioretty picked up his second point of the game, taking a shot that hit Gionta in front and beat Thomas to restore the two-goal advantage.
The Bruins got one back at 15:10 of the third to make it a one-goal game. With Roman Hamrlik sitting in the penalty box for tripping, Patrice Bergeron one timed a Savard pass through traffic that Lucic tipped past Price.
Montreal will head out on the road for their next seven games starting in Colorado on Sunday. They return home on January 2.
“That was our last home game of 2010, so we wanted to get a win,”said Price.“I thought our guys did everything right.”
The Bruins open up a three game home stand Saturday against Washington.
Notes: The Canadiens assigned Dustin Boyd to the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. … Tyler Seguin returned to the Bruins lineup after missing Saturday’s game with flu-like symptoms and Wednesday’s game as a healthy scratch. … Daniel Paille didn’t dress.