Pacioretty gets maximum support

Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn (second left) celebrates his goal against Flames goaltender...

Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn (second left) celebrates his goal against Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff with teammates David Desharnais (second right) and Max Pacioretty (left) in Montreal, Que., Oct. 13, 2011. (CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:26 PM ET

MONTREAL - There wasn’t much good for the Montreal Canadiens to take away from their home opener against the Calgary Flames Thursday night.

All the positive stuff was pretty much done by the two-minute mark of the first period and it all had to do with winger Max Pacioretty.

He was playing his first regular-season game at the Bell Centre since that devastating hit by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara last March that left Pacioretty with a cracked vertebra and a concussion. He got the biggest and most emotional ovation in the pre-game introductions.

“I’m so thankful that the city supports me,” said Pacioretty, who set up the Canadiens’ only goal by Andrei Kostitsyn for a short-lived 1-0 lead. “They stood up for me in my situation. It’s great to get that support, but at the same time, I wish we could have performed a little bit better. It’s a long season. We’ve got 79 games left and I’m looking to prove to these fans that I can help this team win games.

“It was tough for me to hold it in out there with everything I’ve been through. It’s probably the best feeling in the world knowing I have so much support out there. I’m looking forward to following through and performing for the fans.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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