The Canadiens returned home immediately after Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Red Wings in Detroit and didn’t hold a morning skate Saturday before facing the Washington Capitals Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). There was also no Canadiens media availability Saturday morning.
The Canadiens have won only four of their last 12 games (4-6-2) and have given up 44 goals during that span. They have also lost three straight.
The Canadiens remain in third place in the Atlantic Division, but the teams behind are getting closer. The Toronto Maple Leafs are tied with the Habs with 59 points, but Montreal holds a game in hand, while the fifth-place Red Wings are only three points behind and have four games remaining against the Canadiens this season.
“We have to be better,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Detroit after the game. “I really appreciated the team effort tonight. We competed really hard. I certainly thought we deserved a better fate coming out of the first period.”
One player who impressed Therrien was defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, a recent callup from Hamilton.
“That young kid Beaulieu played a solid game,” Therrien said. “When he has been up before, he’s always had a good start, but his game went down. Now, he’s gained in confidence and that’s a good sign for us.”
The Capitals are also struggling, coming off a 2-1 loss to the Devils Friday night in New Jersey. It was the seventh straight loss for the Capitals (0-5-2) and their fifth regulation time loss in a row. The Capitals were playing without captain and league-leading scorer Alex Ovechkin for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury.
Ovechkin took part in the Capitals’ optional skate Saturday morning at the Bell Centre. He’ll be a game-time decision, but it looks like he will play.
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)