Alex Galchenyuk
Senators-Canadiens Preview
Alex Galchenyuk

Senators-Canadiens Preview

Published Dec. 11, 2015 12:47 p.m. ET

The Montreal Canadiens are searching for offense during their longest losing streak of the season.

They have failed to score more than two goals in six straight games and have dropped four in a row heading into Saturday night's home game with the Ottawa Senators.

Montreal (19-8-3) still leads the Atlantic Division despite this 1-4-1 stretch that includes four straight regulation defeats. The Canadiens last lost five in a row Feb. 19-28, 2012.

"We're facing adversity and that's going to make us stronger," coach Michel Therrien said.


There is pressure to ignite an offense that is missing Brendan Gallagher, tied for second on the club with Dale Wiese with nine goals. Max Pacioretty has 13, with no points in this losing streak.

The Canadiens blew a third-period lead in Thursday's 3-2 loss at Detroit. Sven Andrighetto and Tomas Fleischmann had their goals.

Fleischmann ended a seven-game goal drought. David Desharnais, though, has come up empty in eight straight and Alex Galchenyuk in five in a row.

"That's the one thing we talked about before the game, we need to start scoring again," said center Tomas Plekanec, who has not scored in his last 14 games. "We've got to start scoring some ugly goals around the net."

Montreal is 0 for 12 on the power play during its slide.

Plekanec and P.K. Subban have combined for 39 assists. Subban is also pointless in the last four games.

Ottawa (15-9-5) can pull within four points of Montreal with a regulation victory as it closes a four-game trip. The Senators have sandwiched 4-1 losses to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay around a 4-2 win over Florida.

Thursday's defeat to the Lightning was frustrating since Ottawa failed to score until Cody Ceci tallied in the third period to make the score 3-1. The Senators finished with a 31-30 edge in shots.

"We had some good chances early and we got kind of frustrated with all the chances we had in the first and second period and none of them seemed to go in the net," Ceci told the Senators' official website.

Mike Hoffman's only goal on the trip came against the Panthers. He had 12 points in a seven-game run prior to this trip.

The Canadiens gave Dustin Tokarski his first start Thursday and could go back to Mike Condon, who has been filling in for an injured Carey Price. Condon made his NHL debut with a 20-save effort in a 3-1 win at Ottawa on Oct. 11, with Plekanec scoring twice.

He also faced the Senators and stopped 25 shots the other time these teams met in a 2-1 overtime loss Nov. 3.

Craig Anderson has started every game on this trip for Ottawa. He has allowed a total of two goals in winning his last two starts against Montreal, including the game last month.

Ottawa's goalies face an average of 33.6 shots for the NHL's highest total. Montreal is among the league's leaders with 31.1 shots per game, totaling 71 in the two meetings with the Senators.


Alex Galchenyuk
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