MONTREAL – After nearly a year playing apart, Max Pacioretty
and David Desharnais
were reunited Saturday night. They may as well have never missed a shift.
Despite both wearing the CH in 2010-11, former Hamilton linemates Pacioretty and Desharnais didn’t see a lot of joint ice-time in their NHL rookie seasons. That all changed Saturday night as they stood out as the Canadiens’ two most used forwards of the match, assisting on each others goals to combine for four points.<
“It was fun getting back together. Davy and I have always played well together and now what we really have to concentrate on is taking this momentum and running with it,” expressed Pacioretty who earned the night’s second star after the Avalanche edged the Habs 6-5 in a shootout.
Clearly happy to find himself reunited with his Bulldog linemate with whom he enjoyed some of the best hockey of his career, Pacioretty had nothing but praise for the speedy center and the chemistry they share.
“We’re good together because the way we play is so different from one another. I’m there trying to create some time and space for him, I’m trying to go to the net every time he has the puck because he knows that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Since we have that chemistry and know where the other is going to be, we can make some blind plays and risk it a little bit,” continued Pacioretty who served up a perfect to help Desharnais score the Habs’ fifth goal of the night.
“On his goal, I knew he was going to the net because we talk about those plays so much, so you can make a blind play and end up with a goal like that.”
After spending last season playing apart on different lines, it’s clear that the duo, having rediscovered their chemistry will do their best to force Jacques Martin’s hand to give them another chance to prove they work best as a unit.
“We have to make sure that we make the most out of the opportunities we have to play together,” said Desharnais who led all Canadiens forwards with 23:17 of ice time. “Things went well for us both tonight and that was great, but in the end, it doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t come off the ice with a win.”
While the Habs may have lost a tough one, a convincing powerplay and five goals for their efforts all represented bright spots for the team - with the Pacioretty-Desharnais tandem being among the brightest.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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