The Captain Makes it Happen Against Avalanche
Habs captain Max Pacioretty has faced an undue amount of criticism this season, both on his on ice play and from a reported feud with head coach Michel Therrien. Patches, as he is affectionately called, silenced critics on Saturday night, leading the Habs to a 10-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The captain had 4 goals and an assist as the Habs had their biggest home ice offensive performance in over 20 years.
The goal onslaught started early in the first when Brian Flynn scored his first of the season, at 2:56, to make it 1-0. Five and a half minutes later the score was 5-0 for Montreal. During that time Pacioretty scored a pair of goals, while Paul Byron and Artturi Lehkonen each lit the lamp once. Shortly thereafter Flynn would score his second to give the Habs a commanding 6-0 lead midway through the 1st. This was Montreal’s first six goal period since 1992 in a game against the Quebec Nordiques, the team which, ironically, became the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado’s Blake Comeau snuck one past Carey Price late in the period to make the game 6-1 after 1.
The Habs offensive outburst was not done however. Alexander Radulov scored midway through the period to make it 7-1, a goal that was soon followed by Pacioretty’s 3rd of the game. Jeff Petry pushed the score to 9-1 with 1 second left in the period. The 3rd period saw Pacioretty add his 4th as he tapped home a loose puck in the crease. The 4 goal game is the first of Pacioretty’s professional career.
Iginla Reaches Milestone
The third period also saw tempers flare on the Avalanche side after a big hit by the Habs’ Alexei Emelin. Emelin delivered a low hip check along the board that sent Joe Colborne flying though the air. Jarome Iginla intervened on behalf of his teammate, causing a scrum behind the net. Both Emelin and Iginla were given penalties for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, with Emelin getting and additional 2 minutes for clipping. Following the game Iginla admitted the hit was clean, but felt it unnecessary given the score.
The game was Iginla’s 1500th in the NHL, a career that now spans 20 years. The veteran player has yet to win a Stanley Cup and reports have indicated that he may be willing to waive his no trade clause in order to have a chance this season. A move made likely by the Avalanche’s poor performance this season. The Avs sit near the bottom of the league with a record of 10-15-1. The Habs are now 19-6-3 and regained first place in the league standings on Saturday night.
Next For the Habs: Boston
The rivalry between the Bruins and Habs will write another chapter on Monday night at the Bell Center. The teams have met twice already this year, with Montreal raking both games by a combined score of 7-4. Boston currently sits 3rd in the division with a record of 15-12-2. Game time is 7:30PM EST.
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