Already down 1-0 in their Eastern Conference quarterfinals to Ottawa and without the services of Lars Eller, the Montreal Canadiens received two more huge losses on Friday as it was announced Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta would both miss Game 2 with injuries.
As per playoff tradition, the Habs weren’t offering much in the way of details, other than both Pacioretty and Gionta suffered upper-body injuries.
Neither player missed extended time during Thursday’s Game 1 loss — a 4-2 decision to the Sens at the Bell Centre. Pacioretty played 25 shifts for 19:59 of ice time, while Gionta played 24 shifts for 16:09.
Gionta played more in the third (6:25) than any other period, while Pacioretty played over seven minutes.
The losses are absolutely crucial for a Canadiens team that already lost its home-ice advantage.
Pacioretty led the team in scoring this year with 39 points and tied for the team lead in goals, with 15.
Gionta, the club’s captain, was second in goals (14) and is one of the team’s most experience playoff performers, having appeared in nearly 100 postseason contests, winning a Stanley Cup in 2003.
The Canadiens have a pool of healthy scratches to draw from to replace Eller, Pacioretty and Gionta in the lineup: Colby Armstrong, Nathan Beaulieu, Mike Blunden, Jeff Halpern, Louis Leblanc and Petteri Nokelainen.