Recap: Canadiens 5, Canucks 2
Canadiens 5, Canucks 2: Max Pacioretty recorded his third career hat trick despite failing to convert a pair of penalty-shot opportunities in the second period as host Montreal handed reeling Vancouver its sixth consecutive setback.Tomas Plekanec also tallied and Ryan White scored for the first time in over year as the Canadiens finished their four-game homestand with a 2-1-1 mark. Former Canuck Dale Weise notched an assist and Carey Price turned aside 42 shots in the victory.Chris Higgins and defenseman Alex Edler each scored a power-play goal and Montreal native Roberto Luongo finished with 24 saves for the Canucks, who are mired in their longest losing skid since dropping eight straight from Jan. 9-31, 2009. Defenseman Jason Garrison's shot caromed off Higgins' left shin pad and into the net to trim the Montreal's advantage to 2-1 at 2:31 of the second period. Pacioretty failed to extend the lead after misfiring on a pair of penalty-shot attempts later in the session, but cleaned up a loose puck at 4:45 of the third before recording his team-leading 26th goal into an empty net.With his team on the power play, defenseman P.K. Subban corralled his own rebound and wired a shot that Pacioretty deflected past Luongo to open the scoring 14:59 into the first period. White doubled the advantage 63 seconds later after settling a loose puck following Weise's shot and backhanding it under the crossbar for his first goal since Jan. 27, 2013.GAME NOTEBOOK: Pacioretty notched his first career hat trick on Feb. 9, 2012 before registering a natural one during a 6-2 win over Minnesota on Nov. 19. ... Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin will not participate for Sweden in the Sochi Olympics. "I'm disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country at the Winter Olympic Games," Sedin said in a statement. "This is a difficult decision but ultimately the best decision for me personally, Team Sweden and the Vancouver Canucks." ... Vancouver D Raphael Diaz, who was acquired in the deal for Weise on Monday, logged 21:49 of ice time. ... The Canucks went 2-for-5 on the power play after converting only one of their previous 27 opportunities. Montreal entered the game having successfully killed off its previous 27 short-handed situations.
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