Canadiens lose Max Pacioretty, Brian Gionta to injury

The Montreal Canadiens said on Twitter that top scorer Max Pacioretty and captain Brian Gionta will miss Game 2 Friday against Ottawa, injuries that follow the hospitalization of teammate Lars Eller.

Lars Eller has concussion, dental injuries

Max Pacioretty (Photo by Rick Denham/Getty Images) (Rick Denham/Getty Images)

In less than 24 hours, the Montreal Canadiens are down the equivalent of a full forward line.

The Habs said through Twitter that top scorer Max Pacioretty and captain Brian Gionta will miss Game 2 Friday against Ottawa.

The Canadiens, per playoff tradition did not disclose what specific injuries Pacioretty and Gionta had, or whether they would miss more than Friday's game. Game 3 of the series takes place in Ottawa on Sunday.

Pacioretty led Montreal with 15 goals and 39 assists this season, while Gionta was tied for second in goals at 14.

Pacioretty played about 20 minutes in Game 1, while Gionta clocked in at 16:09.

The Habs watched with concern on Thursday when Lars Eller was left bloodied and sent off on a stretcher after taking a big hit from Ottawa defenceman Eric Gryba.

The NHL on Friday suspended Gryba for two games.

The Canadiens scored on the ensuing power play, but went on to lose 4-2.

Eller spent the night in hospital for observation, but was discharged Friday morning.

Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien accused Ottawa Senators counterpart Paul MacLean of "disrespect" on Friday for his comments about a hit that put Habs centre Lars Eller in hospital.

Therrien said MacLean showed no compassion for the injured player when he placed the blame on Eller and Canadiens defenceman Raphael Diaz, who made the pass that helped put the Montreal forward in a vulnerable position.

"I'm not allowed to comment on that hit," a seething Therrien said after a team meeting. "One thing I can do though is comment on MacLean's comment.

"Inappropriate comment. No respect for the player on the ice who was bleeding. No respect for his family in the stands. When he compared that to a hockey hit, the comparison he made was with the '70s, '80s and '90s. This is why we've got new rules, to avoid those hits when a player is vulnerable. That's why we've got new rules."

Eller suffered a concussion, as well as facial and dental injuries.

After the game, MacLean absolved Gryba of blame and said players are taught to keep their head up, comparing the hit to those dished out in earlier eras by blue-liners like Doug Harvey, Barclay Plager and Scott Stevens. He also said Eller should be mad at Diaz, who he referred to only as "No. 61."

Canadiens enforcer Brandon Prust was also still angry over the incident and at MacLean.

"I don't care what that bug-eyed, fat walrus has to say," Prust said of MacLean.

When asked if he felt Gryba should be suspended, Prust said: "I trust that, actually trust is a big word, I hope the league makes the right decision."

He paused and then added: "You know what? Actually I hope he doesn't get suspended."

With files from