Crowned the 29th captain of the Montreal Canadiens, Max Pacioretty couldn’t have asked for a better start to his season.
Max Pacioretty Passes First Test as Captain
Three minutes into the first period, the Habs sniper put the team up 1-0 when he took an offensive-zone entry stretch pass from P.K. Subban, and fooled goaltender Jonathan Bernier with a shot that managed to trickle behind him and into the net. It was the first goal of the Canadiens 2015-16 season, and for the entire NHL season.
By doing so, Pacioretty became the fourth player in history to score a goal in his first game as captain of the Montreal Canadiens.
“Got a little lucky, I think,” Max Pacioretty told TVA, with a smile. “It was a set play we (Subban and him) drew up and we tried it a couple of times in practice. We’re really glad it worked out.”
Six and a half minutes into the second period, Pacioretty dished a pass into the slot for defenseman Jeff Petry, and the Canadiens were up 2-1. However, head coach Mike Babcock became the first coach in NHL history to issue a coach’s challenge, bringing light to the fact that Bernier had been interfered with, disallowing him any chance of making the save. The goal was reversed as a result and Pacioretty’s assist was wiped off the scoresheet.
However, with the game up 2-1 in favor of the Habs, thanks to a goal from youngster Alex Galchenyuk, the Maple Leafs pulled their goaltender in the final moments of the game for a chance to tie things up. Unfortunately for them, they watched the Canadiens create a similar play to their first goal. Off a faceoff win in the defensive zone, Subban dumped the puck out of their own end and right onto the stick of Pacioretty. With an empty net to shoot at and all six Toronto players behind him, Pacioretty sealed the Canadiens first victory of the new season with his second goal of the season.
This made Max Pacioretty the first player in modern era history to score two goals in his first game as the captain of the Habs.
“We had lapses of playing great hockey and that makes me excited to know that we have a lot better to give. We saw our potential tonight and we gotta build off the good things and keep going.”
His play during the game against the Maple Leafs was so inspiring, his name trended in Pakistan for an entire 34 minutes.
Max Pacioretty was trending in #pakistan for 34 minutes.
— Trends in Pakistan (@PakTrendStats) October 8, 2015
Subban finished the game with three assists, and Carey Price stopped 36 of 37 shots to lead the team to victory.
“When it came down to it, we had guys stepping up late in the game,” Price told TVA, before joking about Tomas Plekanec’s looks, as the Canadiens veteran stood around, shaking his head at Price.