Amid growing rumors that team captain Max Pacioretty might be dealt by the Canadiens before the trade deadline, goaltender Carey Price had only good things to say Saturday about how his longtime teammate handles the speculation about his future.

"He's been a real professional about it," Price told reporters at the NHL All-Star Game media availability session. "He continues to work on his game and just focus on what he needs to focus on. And you see it paying off lately, which is good to see."

The 29-year-old Pacioretty leads the Habs in scoring with 31 points and is second on the team with 16 goals. However, despite scoring eight goals in the last nine games, Pacioretty is in danger of failing to reach the 30-goal plateau for the first time in five seasons.

His slightly below-average — for him — season and the club's dismal 20-23-6 record led to a string of trade rumors. Yet one of the reasons why the Canadiens sit 10 points — and behind five teams — from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference is that they've scored the fourth-fewest goals in the East. And Pacorietty is a five-time 30-goal scorer who netted 35 a year ago.