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Canadiens 'tired of losing'

Hoping to end seven-game losing streak, turn season around

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Two days off have done little to diminish the frustration level of the Montreal Canadiens, who are off to their worst start in 76 years.

"We're all tired of losing, I think that's pretty obvious," coach Claude Julien said after practice on Monday. "You know we really feel that we're doing some good things but we're not doing good enough for 60 minutes and we need to put full games together."

The Canadiens, who play the Florida Panthers at Bell Centre on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, FS-F, NHL.TV), are 1-6-1 and have lost seven in a row after winning their season-opening game, 3-2 in a shootout at the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 5.

Video: The NHL Tonight crew talks about Montreal's troubles

The three points in their first eight games of a season is their lowest total since 1941-42 when they were 1-6 with one tie.

The latest loss was Friday, a 6-2 loss at the Anaheim Ducks. Montreal trailed 3-0 after the first period, but scored twice in the second, taking 30 shots on goal, a Canadiens record for shots in a period. However, they allowed three goals in 97 seconds in the third period on their way to a 0-3-0 trip in California.

"I think the biggest challenge is we need to be the way we were in the first period of some games and the second period of last game for all three periods, it's as simple as that," Julien said. "We cannot afford to go out there and either fall asleep or become soft as a team. We have to play hard for 60 minutes and this team is capable of doing it, we need to do it."

Center Jonathan Drouin and left wing Max Pacioretty, linemates since training camp who were split up before the second period on Friday, practiced on separate lines Monday.

Video: TOR@MTL: Drouin tips home his first goal with Habs

As he did for the final two periods on Friday, Pacioretty skated with center Phillip Danault and right wing Andrew Shaw at practice. 

"They have great energy," said Pacioretty, who had five shots on goal in the second period Friday. "All three of us worked very hard in that game and we created a lot, and I think that's a good start to jump start each individual. But the team, I think, built a lot of emotion and played with a lot of emotion in the second period, and we have to come out for the first period with that in the next game."

Drouin skated with left wing Paul Byron and right wing Artturi Lehkonen. Right wing Alex Galchenyuk practiced with center Michael McCarron and left wing Nikita Scherbak, who were each recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League. 

"I don't think Alex has given us enough to continue to play on our top line for the time being," Julien said. "I think he had one shot with five minutes left in the game last game and we certainly need more, but at the same time hopefully those young guys, those guys that I put him with, are going to make him work and hopefully get better.

"So at one point, you have to do something as a coach to get players that maybe deserve to be up, such as Paul Byron. He needs to be up there because he's playing well, he's scoring goals. So you reward people that deserve it and at the same time other guys have got to give you more."

Galchenyuk welcomes the opportunity to play with Scherbak.

Video: TOR@MTL: Galchenyuk goes off pipe and in for PPG

"He's an easy player to play with," Galchenyuk said. "He's a good skater and he always seems to try to find me out there. We're good friends off the ice so we're hopefully going to bring that on the ice."

Julien also split up the defense pairing of Karl Alzner and Jeff Petry in Anaheim. Alzner practiced with Jordie Benn to his right, and Petry skated with Brandon Davidson.

"I think both of them are not at the top of their game yet so we split them up to see if we can change something," Julien said. "Right now, it's not good enough. Those are two of the guys that we rely quite a bit on the back end. And they showed they can be better, and we need them to be better. I guess as a coach when things don't work, you've got to change it, right? That's what I did."

Right wing Ales Hemsky did not practice after he was injured Friday. He was placed on injured reserve because of concussion-like symptoms.

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