LOS ANGELES - Al Montoya gave the Canadiens a chance to win on Wednesday night, but a lackluster third period ultimately cost both him and the Canadiens a victory.
Claude Julien's troops surrendered four goals in the third period alone en route to dropping a 5-1 decision to the Kings at STAPLES Center.
The loss extended the Canadiens' current winless streak to six games as they fell to 1-5-1 on the year.
Montoya stopped 37 of 42 shots against in his first start of the season. It was also his first taste of game action since coming on in relief of Carey Price on October 7 in Washington.
"This is tough right now. You're in the game the whole game, until the last 10 minutes, and then you get blown out like that," said Montoya, referencing the fact that the two teams were tied 1-1 entering the final frame before the Kings blew things wide open. "This is a tough one to swallow."
Video: Al Montoya on his performance in Los Angeles
While the 32-year-old netminder was pleased with his performance, coming out on the wrong side of the scoresheet left him dissatisfied.
"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter [if you play well]," mentioned Montoya. "It's a loss, another loss in the column."
Things started off on the right foot for the Canadiens when Paul Byron scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring at the 10:31 mark of the first period, but then it was all Kings the rest of the way. Former Habs forward Michael Cammalleri scored twice and young gun Adrian Kempe registered a hat trick to pace John Stevens' squad to its third straight win.
"I think it's too bad for Monty because he played really well for us. He gave us a chance to win the game. It's definitely not his fault," explained Julien. "Our goaltender was good. We skated well. But, in the third we made some bad decisions that really hurt us. When you look at the situation we're in right now, you give up a bad goal and another after that, and things just go downhill. That's what we have to improve."
Video: Claude Julien's postgame press conference in LA
From Montoya's standpoint, the reason behind Wednesday night's defeat - as well as the solution going forward - are rather simple.
"Some sort of letdown at some point," said Montoya. "We've got to find a way to come together. We hung in there, we fought hard. They're a good team. But, it's about going the full 60."