The Montreal Canadiens probably didn’t draw it up this way – who could, really? – but they got what they wanted with a 1-0 series lead, besting the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Wednesday.
The most eyebrow-raising stuff happened in the first 40 minutes. To start things off, the Senators managed a 1-0 lead after Andrei Markov’s unfortunate own-goal.
All bets were off in the second period, though, really. The wildest moment came when P.K. Subban received a game misconduct and five-minute major slashing penalty, but it really set the stage for a manic run of traded blows.
To start things off, Torrey Mitchell and Tomas Plekanec scored two goals less than 30 seconds apart to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead.
Ottawa took advantage of the power-play opportunities afforded by the Subban call … to an extent. Kyle Turris tied it up a little more than two minutes into that PP, yet a wild Lars Eller shortie made it 3-2 again.
The Senators managed one more tie thanks to Mika Zibanejad, but Brian Flynn’s tally ended up being the game-winner.
To review, six of the game’s seven goals happened in about a 10-minute span in the second period. This box score view of that scoring run may help illustrate the point more clearly:
Yeah, pretty crazy.
Ultimately, the Atlantic Division-winning Canadiens took a 1-0 series lead against the magical Senators, even with Max Pacioretty out of the lineup because of his injury issues and Subban only playing half the game.
In other words, clearly how Michel Therrien drew things up.
Habs rule out leading scorer Pacioretty for Game 1
Pacioretty, dealing with an upper-body injury suffered in Montreal’s third-last game of the season against Florida, was officially ruled out this morning, but could return for Game 2 on Friday night — that said, Habs head coach Michel Therrien wouldn’t commit to any potential comeback date.
“As I said, we’ll use him when he’s 100 per cent,” Therrien said, per the CP. “It’s not tonight obviously.
“It could be Friday, it could be Sunday. Once we get the okay from our medical team, we’ll be very glad to get him back in the lineup.”
With Pacioretty out, here’s what Montreal’s line rushes looked like this morning:
Montreal leading goalscorer Max Pacioretty will miss his first game of the season on Thursday when the Habs host Detroit at the Bell Centre.
Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien made the announcement on Tuesday, 48 hours after Pacioretty exited Sunday’s 4-1 win over Florida after an awkward fall into the boards following a hit from Panthers d-man Dmitry Kulikov:
Kulikov received a two-minute interference minor on the play, and Pacioretty didn’t return to action. Lars Eller moved into his spot on a line with David Desharnais and Devante Smith-Pelly.
Pacioretty, who sits tied for fourth in the NHL with 37 goals this year, will also see his personal ironman streak snapped by missing Thursday’s tilt against the Wings:
This will be Max Pacioretty’s first game missed due to injury since Nov 1, 2013, a span of 165 regular season and playoff games