Many on the Montreal Canadiens likely wished to immediately forget getting embarrassed by the Boston Bruins on home ice less than a week ago.
Brendan Gallagher, on the other hand, saw the setback as an opportunity.
“This is something that you have to learn from,” Gallagher said. “You take every opportunity that you have to improve. Not all of them are fun. Not all of them are going to be enjoyable. But for us right now, all you can do is we find a way to fight out of this as a group, as a team. That’s how we’re going to get out of it, through hard work.”
The Canadiens are still fighting to get out of it, riding a seven-game losing streak into a rematch with the Bruins in Boston on Sunday night. Last Tuesday, the Bruins came to Montreal and handed the Canadiens an 8-1 beatdown, their largest victory in the rivalry since an 8-0 win on Jan. 19, 1974.
Since then, the Bruins have won twice more to run their winning streak to six, while the Canadiens have lost another two to extend their skid (0-4-3). Montreal will be playing the second half of a back-to-back, having lost 4-3 in overtime at home against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
In that game, the Canadiens started Keith Kinkaid in net, meaning Carey Price will likely get a shot at redemption against the Bruins on Sunday. Price started Tuesday and gave up the first five goals on 11 shots in just over 21 minutes before getting pulled.
“We can’t dwell on it for too long,” said Price that night. “I’ve been in this game long enough to know you can’t pout your way out of a situation like this one.”
Montreal had been on a 7-1-1 stretch before its current slump. Price has especially struggled of late, giving up five goals in four of his last five starts.
The primary problem for the Canadiens on Tuesday was Bruins winger David Pastrnak, who scored three times for his second hat trick of the season. Pastrnak was at it again with a goal for the Bruins in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Friday, but it was his assist on the game-winner in overtime after he had dragged all three defenders to him that had his teammates talking.
“He is such a good, dynamic player, he can draw three guys to him and other guys get open, and that’s exactly what happened on that goal,” said David Krejci, who scored the winner.
Krejci has played between Pastrnak and Brad Marchand on the top line while Patrice Bergeron (lower body) remains sidelined. Bergeron missed practice Saturday, as did Marchand, who is experiencing flu-like symptoms.
“If he wakes up (Sunday morning) able to play with the flu symptoms, he’ll play,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “If not, he won’t.”
Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for the Bruins against the Canadiens. Rask has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his last five starts.
–Field Level Media