Still searching for their first points of the season, the Montreal Canadiens are looking for a complete turn-around when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
The Canadiens fell to 0-4-0 after Tuesday's 5-0 home loss to the San Jose Sharks, a game that quickly got out of hand for the struggling Habs. Sharks rookie Jonathan Dahlen scored twice within the first 3:36 to immediately put San Jose in control.
Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry described both Tuesday's game and the Habs' 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 14 as "no effort" performances.
"I think every guy in (the locker room) knows this is not good enough," Petry said.
"We need to get back to our basics... There's so many times where we're skating away from the puck. We're leaving guys out to dry. We're not playing as a unit of five. And we're going to go nowhere playing like that."
There haven't been many positives to find from Montreal's four-game losing streak. The Canadiens have been outscored 15-3, with opponents scoring seven goals from 17 chances against the Habs' penalty-killers. Montreal's own power-play unit has yet to strike, going 0 for 13 with the extra attacker.
The Canadiens haven't begun a season with five straight losses since 1995-96.
Montreal will face a tough challenge in ending its slump Thursday, as the Hurricanes have looked very strong in their first two games of the season, both victories.
After a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders in the season opener, the Hurricanes collected a tense 3-2 road result over the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each scored within the game's last six minutes, with Teravainen's empty-net effort standing as the game-winner after Nashville's Filip Forsberg scored at 19:15 of the third period.
Svechnikov (three goals, one assist) leads all Carolina skaters with four points, while Teravainen has three points (two goals, one assist). While the two forwards are leading the way, six other Hurricanes players have multiple points through two games, and 12 players overall have at least one point.
"We're such a deep team," said forward Jesper Fast, who has a goal in each of the Hurricanes' two games. "Every line can score goals, everyone can chip in defense and offense. That's what makes good teams (into) good teams. ... Everyone plays the same way, we're very well-coached by Rod (Brind'Amour), and everyone knows what to expect from each other."
With the well-rounded Hurricanes clicking offensively, they also received a big effort from goaltender Frederik Andersen, who stopped 38 of 40 Predators shots.
Andersen earned the victory in both of Carolina's games, and is likely to be in net again on Thursday. The goalie has enjoyed a lot of success in 16 career games against Montreal, posting a 10-4-2 record, a .920 save percentage and a 2.61 goals-against average.
Canadiens goalie Jake Allen had been solid in two previous starts before allowing five goals on 25 shots from the Sharks in Tuesday's loss. Allen has assumed starting goaltender duties while Carey Price is on a leave of absence from the team.
Forward Jake Evans is questionable for Thursday after missing the Canadiens' last game due to an undisclosed injury.
--Field Level Media