Habs lose Pacioretty, Eller, Gionta for Game 2

The Montreal Canadiens will be without top-scorer Max Pacioretty, captain Brian Gionta and centre Lars Eller as they seek to even up their best-of seven series with the Ottawa Senators Friday night.

Sens' Gryba suspended 2 games for open-ice hit on Habs' Lars Eller, replaced by Patrick Wiercioch

Sens, Habs get heated before Game 2. Habs missing 3 key players (before Gryba decision). 1:14

The Montreal Canadiens will look to bounce back from a tough Game 1 loss and even up their series with the Ottawa Senators, but they will have to do it without three key scorers.

Habs` leading point-getter Max Pacioretty and team captain Brian Gionta are out with upper-body injuries, while centre Lars Eller will miss Friday`s Game 2 due to a concussion and serious facial fractures suffered in a hit by Sens` defenceman Eric Gryba.

Gryba was suspended for Games 2 and 3 of the series after a phone hearing with the NHL Friday. He will be replaced by Patrick Wiercioch.

The Senators and Canadiens will hit the ice Friday night less than 24 hours after an eventful 4-2 win for Ottawa, despite being out-shot 50-31 (CBC, at 7 p.m. ET and follow #hockeynight).

The game was overshadowed by the Gryba hit on Eller in the second period, which left Eller lying motionless on the ice with blood pooled around him.

Eller stayed in hospital overnight Thursday but he was released Friday morning and resting at home.

Gryba was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct.

Sens coach a 'bug-eyed, fat walrus,' Habs player says

There was debate after the game over whether or not the hit was legal. Gryba, his coach and general manager all defended the collision.

GM Bryan Murray was even heard speaking with former NHL referee Bill McCreary, defending his rookie defenceman. Gryba didn't shy away from the question after the game.

Gryba said he had "no intent to hurt" Eller and said his shoulder was down, but Habs' coach Michel Therrien and forward Brandon Prust were critical of Ottawa's response to the hit.

"I don't care what that bug-eyed, fat walrus says," Prust said on Friday regarding the comments of Sens' head coach Paul MacLean.

MacLean had blamed the pass from Habs' defenceman Raphael Diaz for the devastating collision.


For complete scores, stats and up-to-date information go to's Senators-Canadiens series page.

Both locker rooms did agree on one thing, though — Senators' goalie Craig Anderson stole Game 1.

He stopped 48 Montreal shots, including one that knocked out a tooth shortly after the Gryba hit. That drew cheers from the home crowd when he slumped over for a time in pain.