December 08, 2014

Having shown plenty of resiliency during Carey Price's absence, the Montreal Canadiens now must bounce back from their worst loss of the season.

The Canadiens return to the ice Monday night against the visiting Vancouver Canucks in a matchup of teams that have each received shaky goaltending during two-game losing streaks.

Montreal (13-3-2) continued to thrive with Price first sidelined by a lower-body injury, going 4-0-1 while yielding eight goals in its first five games since the reigning Hart and Vezina Trophy winner's last outing on Oct. 29. The Canadiens have allowed nine in their last two after being routed 6-1 by surging Colorado on Saturday for their first regulation home loss.

Mike Condon was pulled after two periods upon permitting four goals on 11 shots. The rookie posted a 1.60 goals-against average while starting five straight times following Price's injury, then made 31 saves in a 4-3 shootout defeat Wednesday at Pittsburgh.

''We're not going to start blaming anyone,'' Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. ''Condon's been very good for us since the start of the season."

Vancouver (7-6-5) continues a season-high seven-game road trip with Ryan Miller in a more prolonged slump. The veteran netminder is 0-4-1 with a 3.46 GAA over a five-game stretch in which he's surrendered three goals or more each time.

Miller had 36 saves during Saturday's 4-2 setback at Toronto that dropped the Canucks to 1-3-1 on the trek.

He was quite sharp in the Canadiens' Oct. 27 visit to Vancouver, however, stopping 25 shots in a 5-1 victory. Price allowed all five goals, including two from rookie Jared McCann.

The Canucks also held Montreal's dangerous top line of Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher without a point. The trio enters Monday each owning four-game point streaks, with Gallagher totaling three goals and three assists and Plekanec two goals and three assists.

All three had goals in a 3-1 home win over Vancouver on Dec. 9, 2014, the Canucks' fifth loss in their last six visits to Montreal.

Vancouver's Jannik Hansen has four goals and three assists over his last seven after scoring Saturday. He had a second goal disallowed early in the third period after being ruled to have deliberately kicked the puck, one of several near-misses on a night when the Canucks recorded a season-high 45 shots.

"We made way too many mistakes," captain Henrik Sedin told the NHL's official website. "We were sloppy. We didn't get anything going. We're still making way too many mistakes, and we've got to stop talking about that we're a young team. We have to simplify things. Five-on-5 we have to get away from those turnovers and easy goals for the opponent."

Montreal outshot the Avalanche 40-24 and its 3.50 goals per game ranks second in the NHL. The Canadiens own the league's third-best power play as well at 25.4 percent and had scored at least once in those situations in seven straight prior to Saturday.

The Canucks have allowed one or more power-play goals in six straight but were 2 for 2 on the penalty kill in last month's meeting. They've played the last two without top defensive center Brandon Sutter, who's questionable with an undisclosed injury.

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