(Photo: The Gazette/John Mahoney)
It was a busy night for Canadiens goaltender Carey Price who faced 44 shots, but also for Max Pacioretty who was awarded two penalty shots within a three-minute span in the second period.
Pacioretty failed to convert on those chances, but scored a hat trick in the Habs 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. It was Pacioretty’s third career hat trick and second one this season. He now has 26 goals.
“If we had lost that game by a goal I would have been kicking myself in the head, missing two penalty shots like that,” Pacioretty said.
“I think my only three penalty shots in the NHL are against Roberto Luongo. So he’s a big goalie–he’s a good goalie. When it comes to penalty shots he’s in my head.”
Like probably anyone who was watching the game, Pacioretty was stunned to get a second penalty shot.
“That’s the last thing I would expect to happen so quickly after my first one,” he said.
It was the first time in the Habs history that the team was awarded two penalty shots in a game.
“Funny thing is this morning I don’t think I missed a penalty shot in practice. And I took about four or five of them. So it’s just the way it goes,” Pacioretty said.
The game also featured Olympic goaltending overtones with Price and Luongo in net for their respective teams, and both bound for the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia next week as teammates on Team Canada. Luongo faced 29 shots and like Price made some key saves. The Habs fourth goal was credited to Tomas Plekanec, but the puck went off Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler’s skate. Pacioretty scored an empty-net goal at 18:52 of the third period.
The struggling Canucks have now lost their last six games.
The game also marked the first time defenceman Raphael Diaz and forward Dale Weise played against their former teams since Monday’s trade between the Habs and Canucks. Diaz picked up an assist on Edler’s power play goal in the third period, while Weise collected an assist on Ryan White’s goal in the first period.
You can watch what Pacioretty had to say here:
And you can listen to what Price had to say here:
(Video: Brenda Branswell)