MONTREAL - Consistency. Michel Therrien's troops are desperately trying to find it right now.
Unfortunately, Saturday night's result didn't help in that department as the Canadiens fell 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues at the Bell Centre in their penultimate game before their bye week break.
Coming off a big win in Arizona, Therrien's charges were going in search of their first set of back-to-back victories since the first week of January, but they simply couldn't generate the type of offense necessary to best a Blues squad that has now won four straight games under new head coach Mike Yeo.
Video: Condensed Game: Blues @ Canadiens
For their part, the Canadiens have lost five of their last six outings, picking up just three out of a possible 12 points during that span.
"This one hurt. Obviously, you play a good team, you play well and you don't get the results you want, it's frustrating. You've got to look at some positives. We played a pretty good game, but we've got find ways to win," said defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who set a new single-season high with his 20th point of the year on Saturday night. "The losing and winning, the losing and winning, just isn't going to cut it. We need to find some answers and find them quick. We're just too inconsistent right now."
Captain Max Pacioretty hasn't been plagued by inconsistency, though. He scored again on Saturday night, notching his 28th goal of the season during the middle frame. That, coupled with an assist on Shea Weber's tally in the first period, helped him reach the 50-point plateau for a fourth straight season. It didn't make the loss any easier to digest, of course.
"We had some chances there to definitely tie it, but it's not like we played badly. It just didn't go our way offensively. The chances were there. We had some Grade A opportunities that we weren't able to bury," said Pacioretty, who now has seven goals in his last seven games. "We want to go into every game and give ourselves a chance to win. It hasn't been perfect as of late and we haven't been able to put together a streak."
Video: Max Pacioretty on coming up short against St. Louis
Falling to the Blues undoubtedly makes Sunday night's tilt in Boston all the more important with the bye week on the horizon beginning on Monday. Like St. Louis, Boston also has a new man behind the bench in Bruce Cassidy and they've rattled off two straight wins under his leadership since he took over for Claude Julien. With that in mind, coming out on top at TD Garden certainly won't be easy.
"It's just a big division game and that's all we can worry about now. The past is in the past. Yeah, we've been frustrated, but we've got a chance to win an important game [in Boston]," said Pacioretty, who generated two of the Canadiens' 30 shots on Blues goaltender Jake Allen in the defeat. "We'll learn from a couple of things and hopefully put up just a little bit stronger effort and hopefully get two points."