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Small margins, big wins

Max Pacioretty could set a new franchise record with one more overtime-winning goal

by Montreal Canadiens @canadiensmtl / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - By scoring two overtime winners in a 24-hour span, captain Max Pacioretty has etched his name in the Canadiens' record books.

When Pacioretty beat Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen in extra time to pot his eighth career overtime-winning marker, he joined Aurele Joliat and Howie Morenz - both of whom played their last games with the team in the 1930s - atop the Canadiens' all-time OT goal scoring leaderboard. 

Video: Pacioretty sets Habs' OT goal record

If he manages to pot one more sudden death-winner this season, the 28-year-old sniper will set a new franchise benchmark for coming up clutch. 

With his back-to-back winners - having also scored the overtime-winning goal the night before in Nashville before sliding one by Lehtonen on the first shift of OT on Wednesday night - the Habs captain also pulled off another feat that hasn't been accomplished by a Canadiens player since the five minute overtime period was introduced in 1983-84, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Video: COL@MTL: Pacioretty beats Pickard with nifty wrister

Pacioretty leads the Habs in game-winning goals (regulation and overtime) with six this season, good enough to tie him for second in the league in that category with Blackhawk forward Artem Anisimov and Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin. Only Kings forward Jeff Carter has more winners in 2016-17, with seven.

Video: CAR@MTL: Pacioretty sneaks goal past Ward

Since making his NHL debut, the New Canaan, CT native has sealed a victory for the Canadiens on 40 occasions in 520 career games to date. He sits fifth all-time on the franchise leaderboard for career game winners, 53 short of Guy Lafleur's record of 93 in 961 games. 

Nail biters

Other than a pair of 10-1 decisions, one that favored the Canadiens over the Avalanche and one loss to the Blue Jackets, the Habs have primarily taken part in tight games this season. Of the team's 39 games to date, 24 have been decided by a single goal, with the Canadiens owning a 12-6-6 record in those outings.

Video: TBL@MTL: Pacioretty beats Bishop to put Habs on top

Fans have been left on the edges of their seats of late especially, with the team's last five games needing extra time to decide a winner. Those extra points have helped the Canadiens build a 10-point lead over their next closest Atlantic division rival, the Ottawa Senators, nearly midway through the campaign.

Video: PIT@MTL: Pacioretty nets quick wrister 23 seconds in

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