VIDEO: Habs' Max Pacioretty speeds through defense for 39th goal

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Max Pacioretty has a lot of tools any team would covet. He’s big and strong, skates incredibly well and has turned into one of the better goal scorers in the NHL over the last three seasons. The Montreal Canadiens forward put all of his tools together midway through the second period against the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night.

With the Habs already up 1-0, Pacioretty was after a loose puck in the neutral zone after it was cleared away from the Habs' net. Within about three strides he was blazing past Niklas Kronwall, who almost looked like he was standing still even though his feet were moving. Then Pacioretty grabbed the puck, shook off Brian Lashoff and skated in all alone to beat Jonas Gustavsson with a good shot.

That whole play is just remarkable. The speed with which everything happens is really impressive, especially considering where Pacioretty was when he started that race.

The goal was Pacioretty’s 39th of the season and comes less than 24 hours after posting a hat trick against the Ottawa Senators. He has eight goals over his last six games. The man is on fire and on the verge of the first 40-goal season by a Montreal Canadiens player since 1993.

Pacioretty is tied with San Jose Sharks forward and U.S. Olympic teammate Joe Pavelski for third in the league in goals.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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