Habs look to end slump against Lightning; Beaulieu sent back to Hamilton

The Canadiens will be looking to end a three-game losing streak when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Canadiens didn’t hold a morning skate Thursday after dropping a 6-4 decision to the Penguins Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The Canadiens have been outscored 18-8 in the three losses to Toronto, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The club did announce that defenceman Nathan Beaulieu has been returned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In six games with the Canadiens this season, Beaulieu has two assists and is plus-5.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Canadiens dropped to second place in the Northeast Division and fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 57 points (26-12-5). The Boston Bruins (26-11-5) also have 57 points, but have played one less game. The Toronto Maple Leafs (24-14-5), sitting in fifth place in the conference standings, are only four points behind the Canadiens.

The Leafs play host to the New York Islanders Thursday night. The Bruins, coming off an emotional 3-2 shootout loss to Buffalo on Wednesday night, are back in action Friday when they play host to the Penguins.

“We are trying to prepare ourselves for the playoffs and obviously we didn’t have a good night, and we’re going to have to tighten up our defensive game,” coach Michel Therrien said after the loss to the Penguins. “We can’t give up six goals, five goals like we’ve been doing the last three games. We have to get back to basics.

“Defensively, there was too much room between the forwards and the defencemen,” the coach added. “We don’t play as a unit of five and that makes us an easy team to play against.”

Therrien appealed to his veterans to turn things around, saying: “We’re facing a difficult time and it’s time to show we’re solid as a group. I thought tonight we had good intention, but we gave up some early goals and lost confidence.”

(Photo by Gene Puskar/The Associated Press)

Game Preview: Canadiens vs. Lightning, canadiens.com

Canadiens aim to end skid against Lightning, nhl.com

Canadiens fall 6-4 to Penguins, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens’ playoff preparations not going as planned, by Pat Hickey

Penguins have become the model NHL franchise, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens vs. Penguins photo gallery

Habs season tickets a family affair since 1940s for Flinker family, by Brenda Branswell

Lightning’s Labrie tough on ice, not off, by Tampa Bay Times

Penguins’ newcomers show the way in win over Canadiens, by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Boston fans mourn, then cheer at Bruins game, montrealgazette.com


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  2. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    Thank God Beaulieu was sent back. I think everyone is deluding themselves if they think this kid is super special or NHL-ready. He may be one day but not now…minimum he is 2 years away from being a real contributor. You could tell PK was something special the minute you saw him skate and handle the puck. Beaulieu and the Tin Man are still just kids in a man’s game. They should give Pateryn a real good look-see in the playoffs if the Habs last long enough but I think they will be out in 4 or 5 games. They don’t look right and there is no fire in their game. They were VERY lucky to have beaten TB. MB has his work cut out in the summer. No more smurfs PLEASE. Gally is our token smurf because he plays like he’s Lucic.

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