Sochi-bound Pacioretty injured in Habs game

Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty sustained a lower body injury when he was checked into the goal in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes, putting in jeopardy his spot on the U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Pacioretty collided with the goal with 7:30 left in the first period Saturday after being checked by Carolina’s Brett Bellemore in the teams’ final game before the Olympic break.

A native of New Canaan, Conn., Pacioretty was scheduled to leave for Sochi, Russia, on Sunday to join the American team, which opens play on Thursday against Slovakia.

The 25-year-old Pacioretty has played 49 games this season. He has 26 goals and 11 assists. Pacioretty had second hat trick of the season Thursday in a 5-2 win over Vancouver.

Possible replacements:

Bobby Ryan was perhaps the most surprising omission on the 25-man roster back in January. Ryan has 18 goals this season with the Ottawa Senators — trailing just two U.S.-born players — and is among league leaders with 36 points. He has scored at least 30 times in four previous years.

Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders was also left off the Olympic roster.

–With files from Sportsnet staff