Habs rule out Pacioretty after Kulikov hit

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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: