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Canadiens' Pacioretty, Beaulieu dealt with injuries

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty said Thursday he was fortunate to have played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after sustaining a concussion late in the regular season.

After experiencing severe symptoms, Pacioretty missed only the first game of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Ottawa Senators after not playing in Montreal's final two regular-season games.

Max Pacioretty
Left Wing - MTL
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 7
SOG: 46 | +/-: 2
The Canadiens were eliminated in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning with a Game 6 loss Tuesday.

Pacioretty sustained the injury on April 5 when the back of his helmet hit the boards after he was checked by Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

"When it happened, it was pretty bad at first," Pacioretty said. "The first two days we were still in Florida, I was locked down in my room and luckily I had my dad there. My family lives down there so my dad was at the game and he drove me home. As soon as the sun went down we would go outside for the next two days and eat outside.

"He was very worried about me and that was tough on me, and kind of made me take a step back and think about my family and stuff. But I had very bad symptoms for two or three days, but as soon as they went away I don't think I felt anything significant."

Pacioretty, who led Montreal with 37 goals and 67 points in 80 regular-season games, scored five goals with two assists in 11 playoff games.

Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu missed seven playoff games with a broken sternum after he was hit by Senators captain Erik Karlsson during Game 3. The Canadiens won that best-of-7 series in six games.

"I fractured my sternum, my sternum bone; pretty painful but I made a full recovery and it was a lot faster than we thought it was, so I was pretty fortunate," Beaulieu said Thursday.

Beaulieu returned for the final two games against the Lighting. The defenseman said the tinted visor he wore when he first went back on the ice in practice was designed to throw off the media.

"Yeah, it was a trick," said Beaulieu, who had one assist in five playoff games. "There was no concussion at all, so I was fortunate."

Montreal coach Michel Therrien was upset between Games 3 and 4 in Ottawa because of speculation about the nature of Beaulieu's injury. The Canadiens said at the time Beaulieu had an upper-body injury, and Therrien defended the team's medical staff in the wake of questions about his defenseman remaining on the bench through the end of the game after he was injured in the second period.

"He was evaluated between the second and third period and we knew at that point that we were in a position to keep him on the bench," Therrien said on April 21.

Right wing PA Parenteau missed Game 2 against Ottawa because of a left shoulder injury he sustained in the series opener.

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