27-23-9
2 -
Team 1 2 3
VAN 0 1 1
MON 2 0 3
5
31-21-6

Pacioretty leads Canadiens past Canucks 5-2

The Associated Press
Pacioretty leads Canadiens past Canucks 5-2
.

View gallery

MONTREAL (AP) -- Max Pacioretty needs to work on his penalty shots. Everything else was working just fine for the Montreal Canadiens' forward against Vancouver.

Pacioretty scored three goals - but missed two penalty shots - to lead the Canadiens to a 5-2 victory over the Canucks on Thursday night that extended Vancouver's losing streak to six games.

Ryan White and Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal, and Carey Price made 42 saves.

Pacioretty was awarded two penalty shots in a two-minute span in the second period, becoming the second player in NHL to be awarded two in the same period.

To get the first penalty shot, Pacioretty was hooked on a breakaway by recently-acquired defenseman Raphael Diaz at 11:47. After the referee pointed to center ice, the Canadiens' leading goal-scorer shot high and wide.

''I thought a little bit too much before the shot,'' said Pacioretty, who had already scored Montreal's first goal earlier in the game. ''That didn't help me.''

Less than two minutes later, Alexandre Burrows took Pacioretty down on another breakaway, and the decision on the ice was the same.

''I couldn't believe it,'' Pacioretty said. ''I was just trying to catch my breath, wipe down my visor, buy myself a little extra time. That's the last thing I would expect to happen so quickly after my first one.''

This time, Pacioretty lost control of the puck, bobbled it, and then took a weak backhand shot on Roberto Luongo, who made the pad save.

Pacioretty has taken three penalty shots in his career. The other was Oct. 12, 2013, in Vancouver. Luongo, who made 25 saves on Thursday, stop him that time, too.

''He's a big goalie, he's a good goalie,'' Pacioretty said. ''When it comes to penalty shots, he's in my head.''

Despite missing both, Montreal's leading scorer became the first Canadiens player to take two penalty shots in the same game.

Pacioretty redeemed himself at the start of the third, beating Luongo glove-side for his second of the game, the game-winner, and team-leading 25th goal of the season. He also added an empty-netter for his second hat trick of the season.

''He stuck with it,'' teammate P.K. Subban said. ''It says a lot about his character. It's tough, especially for a guy like him who wants to score so badly. He scored two goals afterward. It shows how mentally tough he is and determined he is. Kudos to him.''

Chris Higgins and Alexander Edler scored for Vancouver.

The Canucks are still winless (0-3) since coach John Tortorella's return from a 15-day suspension. They have lost six consecutive games for the first time in five years.

''Our first period was OK,'' Tortorella said. ''We played really well in the second. We just couldn't carry it. We needed momentum early in the third period, and maybe score a goal to keep us going.''

Stuck on 63 points, Vancouver is holding on to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. But Tortorella doesn't think his players have the wrong attitude.

''That's the only thing we can do as a club, right now, is stay positive,'' he said. ''Why lose that battle? The bench was alive, they played hard. That won't be a problem. We need to continue working at this.''

Pacioretty put Montreal on the scoreboard at 14:59 of the first period, deflecting home Subban's shot from the blue-line with his knee. Subban's first shot on the play was blocked by Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison, but his second found its way through traffic.

The Canadiens doubled their lead a minute later when White scored his first of the season.

White couldn't have asked for an easier first goal, taking advantage of a sprawled Luongo, who thought he was covering the puck, to fire a backhand shot into the roof of the net and give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead. Dale Weise, in only his second game with Montreal, got an assist on the goal.

Higgins pulled one back for the Canucks at 2:31 of the second period, beating Price on the power play with a redirected shot off his shin for his 16th goal.

Montreal had killed off 28 straight penalties prior to Higgins' power-play goal.

The Canadiens added a fourth when defenseman Edler kicked the puck into his own net at 8:14. Plekanec, the last Montreal player to touch the puck, was credited with the goal.

NOTES: Henrik Sedin (rib) and Dan Hamhuis (leg) were not in the lineup for the Canucks. The injury even forced Sedin to withdraw from the Sochi Olympics earlier in the day. ... Weise and Raphael Diaz both faced their former teams after they were traded on Monday. ... Travis Moen (lower body) did not dress for the Canadiens, and is listed as day-to-day. ... This was the second of two games between Montreal and Vancouver this season. The Canadiens beat the Canucks 4-1 on Oct. 12, 2013.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Fabbri, Tarasenko lead Blues over Devils

      Fabbri, Tarasenko lead Blues over Devils

      Robby Fabbri has it pretty good with the St. Louis Blues. The second-year left wing is on a line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera. One is among the NHL's most renowned talents, and the other is a quality playmaker. … More »

      AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
    • QMJHL Roundup: Durocher scores winner as Olympiques rally past Oceanic in OT

      RIMOUSKI, Que. — Jeffrey Durocher scored the winner 1:13 into overtime as the Gatineau Olympiques rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Rimouski Oceanic on Friday night in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. … More »

      The Canadian Press - 38 minutes ago
    • Rangers' Raanta blanks 'Hawks in OT

      Rangers' Raanta blanks 'Hawks in OT

      Nick Holden scored 55 seconds into overtime, Antti Raanta made 26 saves against his former team and the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Friday night. Derek Stepan passed from the boards to a streaking Holden in the middle of the … More »

      AP - Sports - 46 minutes ago
    • OHL Roundup: Watson's hat trick helps Steelheads down Knights 7-3

      LONDON, Ont. — Spencer Watson scored a hat trick as the Mississauga Steelheads downed the London Knights 7-3 on Friday night in Ontario Hockey League action. … More »

      The Canadian Press - 48 minutes ago
    • Staal gets Wild by Oilers in shootout

      Staal gets Wild by Oilers in shootout

      Eric Staal scored in the sixth round of a shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Friday night. Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won three straight. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 25 … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 5 minutes ago