The good news for the Montreal Canadiens and host Detroit Red Wings is that one of the struggling clubs will snap a four-game losing streak on Tuesday.
Montreal moved four games above. 500 with a three-game winning streak earlier this month but slumped to an 0-3-1 record last week. The Canadiens picked up a point in their latest outing, but that loss was particularly irritating. They squandered a three-goal advantage and fell 4-3 in overtime to Dallas.
“We’re just disappointed. It’s a pretty easy way to put it,” goalie Carey Price said. “(Comebacks) aren’t uncommon in the NHL today. I think they just grabbed a lot of momentum as they carried on in the game. We’ve been on both sides of that. It’s definitely not fun to be on the receiving end.”
The Canadiens also dropped a one-goal decision to Arizona at the beginning of the slide. A pair of 4-1 losses at Boston and Pittsburgh followed.
Forward Jonathan Drouin missed the Dallas game with a sprained ankle. Drouin, who scored 18 goals last season, was sidelined most of this season by a wrist injury.
“No matter how many tough bounces we got this year, how hard we’ve worked and just haven’t got the results, the character in this room is never going to give up,” forward Jordan Weal said. “There’s a lot of guys that haven’t been given anything their whole careers; they’ve had to work for everything they’ve got. … We’ve just got to keep pushing and keep pushing, and the odds are going to turn.”
Going by that philosophy, the Canadiens are due for a victory over the Red Wings.
Detroit has recorded a league-low 14 wins this season but three have come at the Canadiens’ expense. The Wings won at Montreal 4-2 on Oct. 10 and 2-1 on Dec. 14. In the last meeting in Detroit, they pulled out a 4-3 home win on Jan. 7 behind two Frans Nielsen goals.
Jonathan Bernier has been the winning goalie in each of those games. Bernier didn’t start the Wings’ 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday but he finished it, as Jimmy Howard was pulled in the second period after giving up four goals.
Detroit went 0-4 on a road trip last week. It also fell to Buffalo 3-2, along with 4-1 losses to New Jersey and Boston.
The team’s biggest star, center Dylan Larkin, has not scored in the last six games and didn’t record a point on the road trip.
“I’ve got to take some responsibility and score some goals and produce offensively but we are in a stretch right now where we have to find a way out of this, and find a way as a team to generate more offensively,” Larkin told NHL.com.
“We had our chances (Sunday) but we’ve got to make sure they go in. … We only scored one goal as a team. We’re leaving the rest to our goaltender, and it’s not fair to those guys.”
Detroit begins a stretch in which it plays eight of its next 10 games at home.
“We’ll see what we’ve got to get better at. We’ll show them that,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’ll see what we did well and try to win a game on Tuesday.”
–Field Level Media