Coach Michel Therrien says the Canadiens are ready for the playoffs.
“We showed a lot of character to come back after giving up three goals and as a coach you appreciate that,” Therrien said after the Canadiens gave up three first-period goals before rallying for a 7-4 win over the Senators Friday night in Ottawa. “We didn’t quit and we showed that we’re ready for the playoffs. We’ve achieved our goal of making the playoffs and now we want to play solid and play with passion and we did that tonight.”
The Canadiens will be back in action Saturday night when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Only a handful of Canadiens players were expected to skate Saturday morning in Brossard and there was no media availability.
The Canadiens are two points ahead of Tampa Bay in the battle for second place in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but the Lightning holds a game in hand. The Lightning plays host to the Dallas Stars Saturday night.
Max Pacioretty had a hat-trick Friday night, increasing his career-high goal total to 38. Carey Price, who was on the bench as the backup to Peter Budaj, was among those in Ottawa to throw his hat on the ice after Pacioretty’s third goal. With four games remaining in the regular season, Pacioretty could become the Canadiens’ first 40-goal scorer since Vincent Damphousse in 1993-94.
“He’s an animal,” linemate David Desharnais said about Pacioretty. “He scores every chance he’s got and I don’t expect less from him. He’s a great guy, a great leader, and that’s what we need from him. All the credit to him.”
The Red Wings, who are fighting to make the playoffs for the 23rd straight season, improved their odds with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres Friday night. The Red Wings, who held the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference after Friday’s win, have won two of three previous games against the Canadiens this season.
(Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)