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Canadiens forward Pacioretty leaves game with injury

by Alain Poupart /

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty left the game Sunday against the Florida Panthers in the first period because of an injury. He did not return.

Pacioretty appeared to sustain an upper-body injury at 5:48 when he hit his head against the boards after being checked by Dmitry Kulikov and then getting his feet tangled with Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic.

Coach Michel Therrien had no update on Pacioretty's status after the game.

"He's a big part of our team, a guy we've relied on all year long,"???forward Brendan Gallagher said. "That said, that's sports; guys go down. It's an opportunity for guys to step up, and I???thought we did a good job of that tonight."

Pacioretty was wobbly while he was accompanied off the ice by a trainer. Kulikov was called for interference on the play.

Pacioretty's 37 goals and 67 points lead the Canadiens, who are in first place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, following a 4-1 win against the Panthers.

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