Max Pacioretty sends worst pass of season to Stamkos for goal (Video)

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty entered Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with 26 assists on the season. His 27th was a beauty, perfectly setting up a goal.

Alas, it won’t count in his season total. Because it set up a goal for the Lightning.

In the first period, the Habs and Bolts were playing 4-on-4 hockey after Alex Galchenyuk and Victor Hedman were off on coincidental minors. The Canadiens were changing. Pacioretty apparently believed that the left defenseman wasn’t part of that change, and sent a pass back to his own zone …

… to where Steven Stamkos was standing, ready to receive the turnover. He skated in as P.K Subban and Andrei Markov scrambled to cover, and blasted a perfectly placed slapper past Carey Price for the 2-1 lead.

In case you're wondering: This is not an offside play. Via Rule 83.1 from the NHL:

If a player legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone while a player of the opposing team is in such defending zone, the off-side shall be ignored and play permitted to continue.

The Lightning won the game, 4-2, as Stamkos would later add another goal, No. 39.

As for Pacioretty … well, that image of him on one knee at the red line, looking wistfully back at his own zone after handing one of the most lethal snipers on Earth a gift scoring chance … well, it make us a little misty.

Poor guy. But he gets a check-plus for sharing.