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Taking one for the team

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
OTTAWA – Max Pacioretty is a big believer that whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

After taking a James Wisniewski blast to the ribs in the opening minutes of Tuesday night’s game against the Sabres, Pacioretty left the HSBC Arena via ambulance. Three days later, he was back on the ice, better than ever.

“Everyone in this league plays hurt every night, so there’s not much to say about that. You do what you can to help the team win games,” shrugged Pacioretty, who played 15:50 against the Sens. “It was exciting to get out there for the game especially since for the past couple of days we didn’t really know what was going to happen. It was definitely exciting to play tonight and even more exciting that we put on a performance like that.”

Check out Pacioretty's goal
While it didn’t take Pacioretty long to make his way back onto the ice, it took the gritty winger even less time to put himself right back in the line of fire.

“I’ve got some more padding on there now but going in front of the net, maybe I’ll think twice next time,” joked the 22-year-old forward. “But it’s my job and I have to keep doing it. I know that good things will happen if I do.”

There was no shortage of good things happening for Pacioretty on Friday night, chipping in with an assist on Brian Gionta’s second period goal before adding one of his own four minutes later.

“I was pretty down when my stick broke on that empty net so I knew I’d have to make it up to Gomer [Scott Gomez] after that,” he smiled. “Gio and I were both in a little funk. The chances were there; we just weren’t capitalizing.

“After I missed that one in the first period I thought our struggles were going to continue but all it takes is that one bounce,” offered the New Canaan, CT native. “He got one and then I got the same type of bounce a little bit later. Hopefully we’ll be able to build off that and get some momentum going.”

With a game against Anaheim on tap in less than 24 hours, Pacioretty is still waiting to find out just how long he’ll have to wait to shoot for his fifth goal of the season.

“We’re still taking it skate by skate,” confirmed Pacioretty. “Right now I feel really good but that’s the adrenaline from the game. We have to see how it feels tonight and tomorrow morning and we’ll go from there.

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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