BOSTON - The Canadiens certainly aren't lacking in the motivation department heading into a huge matchup with their Atlantic Division rivals.
Claude Julien's squad will be looking to snap their seven-game winless streak when they visit the Boston Bruins on Sunday night at TD Garden.
And if this group is going to right the ship in Massachusetts, they'll have to do it together.
"We have to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Nobody is feeling bad for us. Pity isn't going to help us turn things around," said Julien, during his pregame press conference. "It's important to prepare well for tonight because we're facing a very good team. We have to build on what we did well on Saturday against the Flyers."
Video: Claude Julien's pregame press conference @ BOS
Julien's troops are struggling right now to say the least. Their last win dates back to November 15 against the Washington Capitals.
But the focus remains on taking things one game at a time.
"The atmosphere is definitely heavier. We aren't going to hide that. It isn't fun to lose seven straight games. We're winners and we want to win," explained centerman Phillip Danault, who has six goals and 19 points in 26 games this season. "It's definitely a lot less fun, but we have to focus on the positive and go one day at a time."
While meeting the media, Julien confirmed that defenseman Brett Kulak would take Victor Mete's spot in the lineup. Mete didn't accompany the team to Boston after suffering a lower-body injury versus Philadelphia.
A tall task
If the Canadiens hope to put their current streak behind them, they'll have to find a way to beat a Bruins squad that has been dynamite on home turf.
Boston still hasn't dropped a game in regulation at TD Garden thus far this season. Bruce Cassidy's contingent boasts a 10-0-4 record in 14 games in front of their fans.
Nevertheless, the Habs have enjoyed their fair share of success in recent years at this rink.
"The fans are emotional, they're passionate. I think everyone knows that this team always plays good here. It's a really fun place. We've got some good memories here. We've been able to have a little bit of success, and it's always with the same formula. It usually comes from our skating game, taking the fans out of the game and just enjoying it," explained assistant captain, Brendan Gallagher. "It's really fun to be a part of as a player. There's a lot of history between the two teams, so it's something that you really get up for as a player and enjoy."
Video: Brendan Gallagher on playing at TD Garden
Goaltender Carey Price also has good numbers in Boston. The 32-year-old Anahim Lake, BC native won both of his starts at TD Garden last season, allowing two goals on 76 shots. He also registered one shutout.
Despite the losses of late, the Canadiens have learned a lot along the way. They're hoping to apply some of those lessons tonight to pick up a win.
"Every game is a lesson, win or lose. You have to take the good, learn from the bad and try to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Every game is something to learn from," stressed Gallagher, who has a team-leading 10 goals. "Obviously right now it's something that's not really all that enjoyable for us to be going through, but hopefully it's going to be rewarding when we're able to work out of it."
For their part, the Bruins will be without the services of centerman Patrice Bergeron. He's sidelined with a lower-body injury.
Puck drop on Sunday night is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.