Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pacioretty's Late Goal Lifts Canadiens to 2-1 Win over Blue Jackets

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pacioretty's Late Goal Lifts Canadiens to 2-1 Win over Blue Jackets

Article excerpt

Pacioretty lifts Habs over Blue Jackets

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MONTREAL - Montreal head coach Michel Therrien had to defend his team's doctors instead of praising the Canadiens' performance on the ice Tuesday night.

They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 but the home team's concussion protocol was put into question after defenceman Nathan Beaulieu took a hit to the head.

Beaulieu and Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno dropped the gloves midway through the second period, with Foligno landing a particularly hard punch in Beaulieu's face.

Though Beaulieu's knees buckled after the punch, the Canadiens defenceman did not go to the dressing room to be checked by the team's medical staff. He went straight to the penalty box instead.

"Nathan went to the penalty box, there were 50 seconds left in the period (when he came out) and he didn't return to the ice," said coach Michel Therrien. "The doctors said he passed the (concussion) protocol between the second and third periods. Everything was fine."

Beaulieu returned to the ice after the second intermission. He played 7:04 of the third.

"If he wasn't feeling well, he wouldn't have gone (to the penalty box)," added Therrien. "He felt very good, and then we followed up."

Beaulieu did not speak to the media after the game. A team official said he was in the medical room.

With the score tied 1-1, Foligno and Beaulieu fought at 10:56 of the second period after the Blue Jackets captain knocked Tomas Fleischmann into the boards with a knee-on-knee hit.

"Beaulieu is a great teammate," said captain Max Pacioretty, who scored the game winner late in the third period. "It's the heat of the moment, and he wants to stick up for his teammate. That earns a lot of respect in the room.

"You really are inspired when a teammate steps up like that after what we felt should have been a penalty."

In the first period, defenceman Alexei Emelin's served up a late hit on Matt Calvert that earned him a five-minute major and a game misconduct. …

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