Hockey Night in Canada

Canadiens' Max Pacioretty out for Game 1 vs. Senators

Canadiens star Max Pacioretty will not play in Montreal's playoff opener against Ottawa, coach Michel Therrien announced Wednesday morning.

Montreal star suffering from suspected head injury

Max Pacioretty participated in the Canadiens' practices on Monday and Tuesday but did not take part in contact drills. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The Montreal Canadiens will be without team scoring leader Max Pacioretty to start the playoffs.

Coach Michel Therrien said Pacioretty will sit out the opening game of their first round NHL playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

He said it is possible Pacioretty, who has an upper-body injury, according to the team, will be able to return for Game 2 on Friday night.

"As I said, we'll use him when he's 100 per cent," said Therrien. "It's not tonight obviously.

"It could be Friday, it could be Sunday. Once we get the OK from our medical team, we'll be very glad to get him back in the lineup."

Pacioretty, who had 37 goals and 67 points this season, stayed on the ice after an optional skate for some extra work along with the other players not likely to play, including defencemen Mike Weaver and Sergei Gonchar and centre Manny Malhotra.

Pacioretty was injured in Montreal's third-last regular-season game when he was checked into the boards by Florida's Dmitry Kulikov. Pacioretty hit his head on the boards and looked woozy as he left the game.

Defenceman Tom Gilbert is expected to return to the lineup after missing the final two regular-season games with an upper-body injury. Gilbert has been wearing a plastic jaw protector on his helmet since being struck in the face by a puck on March 21.

With files from CBCSports.ca

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