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EDM@MTL: Postgame

The Canadiens' winless streak reached eight games with a loss to the Oilers on Thursday night

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - The Canadiens were bested 4-2 by the Oilers on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

The Habs are now winless in eight straight games.

The big news entering the contest was the return of Brendan Gallagher to the lineup after missing the previous four games with a concussion.

Gallagher was all smiles ahead of his first outing since New Year's Eve in North Carolina.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: 👋 @BGALLY17 !#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/nBXBFvEcC2

As expected, he stayed true to his pregame routine of visiting youngsters seated along the glass.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Contents de te revoir, Gally!Gally's back, and he's already doing Gally things.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/bBasunA6KG

Thursday night's contest also marked the 900th game of Ilya Kovalchuk's NHL career.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: 9������0������0������ 👏Bravo, Ilya!#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/l80gfjkmBr

Fans were treated to a wonderful rendition of "O Canada" before puck drop.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Merci �� Kent Nagano et aux membres de l���Orchestre symphonique de Montr��al pour ce magnifique hymne national.��🎶🎺Thank you Kent Nagano and members of the @OSMconcerts for that magnificent rendition of the national anthem.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/IVnAlO365p

Phillip Danault opened the scoring for Montreal at the 12:35 mark of the first period.

Danault's initial shot on Oilers goaltender Mike Smith yielded a juicy rebound, and he proceeded to blast it home for his 11th goal of the season.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Danault la met au fond du philet. Danault about you, but we are phil-ling this goal.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/F9flvt2jl4

Defenseman Jeff Petry registered his 20th assist of the year on the play, reaching the plateau for the fourth consecutive year.

The Canadiens outshot the Oilers 14-6 during the opening 20 minutes.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi put Claude Julien's squad up by a pair just 2:24 into the middle frame.

Countryman Artturi Lehkonen fed him a perfect drop pass that he buried past Smith for his sixth goal of the season.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: K🎯TKANIEMI#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/yQUEfkHNZL

But the Oilers fought right back with a goal by centerman Riley Sheahan just under five minutes later.

Sheahan blasted a wrist shot by goaltender Carey Price to cut the Canadiens' lead to 2-1.

Julien's squad got into penalty trouble early in the third period and ultimately paid the price for it.

With Danault in the box for holding, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lit the lamp for Edmonton at the 2:16 mark of the frame to even things up.

Then, Alex Chiasson gave the Oilers their first lead of the game when he re-directed an Oscar Klefbom pass beyond Price at the 9:40 mark of the period.

Josh Archibald added an empty-netter for Edmonton.

That's the way things finished up.

The Canadiens will be back in action on Saturday night against the Senators in Ottawa.

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