Playing for keeps
He may not have made his 2010-11 Bell Centre debut until December 15, but with nine points in 18 games since his arrival, Pacioretty has proven that he was worth the wait.
“When people score goals, they score in bunches,” offered the 22-year-old, who has now notched three goals in the past two games. “I’ve done everything I can and I’ve waited so long for this. I have to credit so many people for getting me to this point in my game. Hopefully I can keep it going.”
| Highlights Habs - Ducks
Pacioretty worked his power-play magic early and often in Saturday’s game, getting the Habs on the board with the man advantage before jamming home the tying goal with just 14 seconds left in the third period.
“There were so many opportunities there,” said Pacioretty, who had six shots in the contest. “The defense were doing a great job of getting their shots through. For whatever reason, I knew Pleky [Tomas Plekanec] was going to throw a one-touch pass through to the net. The goalie left his post and luckily the puck was right there. That’s a bounce you like as a player.”
The fact that he was in his usual spot, taking abuse in front of the opposing net when he scored wasn’t lost on James Wisniewski. After dinging Pacioretty with a blistering shot on Tuesday night in Buffalo, the Habs blue-liner was glad to see old habits die hard for the rookie winger.
“Max did a great job – except in the first period when he moved out of the way and Hiller made a glove save on mine,” joked Wisniewski, who was on for both of Pacioretty’s power-play goals. “He did an unbelievable job to singlehandedly get two grinding goals by working hard in front of the net.
“Hiller’s an All-Star goalie and all you can do is just keep peppering him and hopefully we can get some deflections and get some guys to the net like we did on the second and third goals,” he added. “That work ethic paid off and we got an important point out of it.”
Already two goals ahead of his previous career high with 33 games left to go, Pacioretty is hoping there’s a lot more where that came from in the next few months.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Ducks 4, Canadiens 3, SO
The Numbers Game - Jan. 22, 2011
Postgame comments: Martin | Pacioretty | Darche | Wisniewski
Koivu's standing ovation
Meet the Pyatts