'We were right for most of the game'
When asked where things went wrong against Boston, defenseman Ben Chiarot was at a loss for words.
"It's kind of the same story that it's been lately," responded Chiarot, who logged a career-high 29:26 of ice time versus Boston. "A couple of missed assignments, and it cost us the game. That's all that happened."
Those "missed assignments" all came in the third period when the Canadiens were fighting to maintain a 1-0 advantage - but it wasn't meant to be.
The Bruins scored three straight goals en route to their seventh consecutive victory.
David Pastrnak, David Backes and Jake DeBrusk managed to solve goaltender Carey Price in a span of just 7:11, which ultimately extended the Canadiens' winless streak to eight games.
"We were right for most of that game. We let their most dangerous player get in behind us, and two seconds later it was a tie game. Power play, they take the lead. That's how fast it changes," said Chiarot. "Playing a dangerous team like that, you can't have those lapses. You have to be perfect, and we weren't. You have to check your assignments. You have to make sure you're in the right position, or the leading goal-scorer in the League is going to get in behind you and there goes what was a good road game from us for the most part."
While head coach Claude Julien acknowledged that Pastrnak's equalizer was picture perfect, the ensuing power play goal by David Backes didn't sit right with the veteran bench boss.
He wasn't at all pleased with the holding penalty assessed to Nick Cousins that led to Boston's man advantage with 11:22 remaining in regulation.
"That penalty behind the net is what changed the outcome of the game. It's unfortunate. It was a bad call. His stick, [Torey] Krug's stick, is stuck under his own player. And as a referee in a 1-1 hockey game, you've got to make sure when you make those calls. I'm pissed off at the way that was handled. Not in a good position to see it, and he makes that call, ends up giving them the go-ahead goal and takes away an opportunity from us to win a hockey game," stated Julien. "For 45, 46, 47 minutes, we were playing solid hockey. We needed that win desperately, and now we've got to go home and find a way to win the next one."
For his part, Price turned aside 31 of 34 shots in the defeat.
And while the loss was tough to swallow, the seven-time All-Star was satisfied with the play of those in front of him.
"I thought our guys played very well on the defensive side of the puck tonight. The last couple of games, I thought we played really well," praised Price. "I think if we definitely play like that, the majority of our games are going to be a better result."
The Canadiens deserve plenty of credit for their defensive effort against a Bruins club that boasts firepower up and down the lineup and is especially strong on home turf.
With a victory on Sunday night, Bruce Cassidy's contingent is 11-0-4 at TD Garden during the 2019-20 campaign.
And yet, Julien's group kept one of the League's elite teams off the scoresheet for 46:16 in their first of two regular-season visits to Massachusetts.
That isn't shabby at all, but it still wasn't sufficient to get back on the winning track.
"I can't stand here and tell our fans that I'm happy because we're not winning. They want wins," mentioned Julien. "They don't care about these positive things from our team."
Likewise, captain Shea Weber expressed similar thoughts following the disappointing result.
"We've got to win. We've got to find a way to win. It's not good enough. We've improved defensively, but we're not winning. When it comes down to it, it's about getting the wins and getting two points," said Weber. "That's not happening right now."
So where do the Canadiens go from here? They have another shot to get back in the win column on Tuesday night when they play host to the New York Islanders at the Bell Centre.
That won't be an easy game, either. The Islanders are 17-5-2 on the year, and currently sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 36 points.
"It's hard to try and find any confidence with what's going on right now, but we've got to find a way somehow," insisted Weber. "One way or another, we're the only ones that can dig ourselves out of this, and we've got to find a way."
Video: Shea Weber on finding a way to win again
Julien is definitely in agreement there.
"We're pros here. You don't sit in there and feel sorry for yourself, because we all know you can't get out of it that way. We need to just buckle down here and keep pushing," said Julien. "Maybe next time the break goes our way, and if it goes our way, we win a hockey game."
Army delivers again
Joel Armia scored the Canadiens' lone goal on Sunday night.
It marked the third straight game in which Armia lit the lamp. He now sits tied with assistant captain Brendan Gallagher for top spot on the team in that department with 10.
The 26-year-old Finn needed just 1:58 to give the Habs the start they were looking for in hostile territory.
He was equally efficient in Saturday afternoon's overtime loss to the Flyers when he scored only 19 seconds into the first period.
It's the fourth consecutive season in which Armia has reached the double-digit mark in goals. He scored a career-high 13 goals in 57 games last season.