If the Montreal Canadiens want to go on a deep run in the upcoming playoffs, they would best be served putting this past weekend's loss behind them quickly.
The Canadiens look to do just that on Monday night as they play host to the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.
Montreal visited the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night and allowed four goals on the first five shots faced en route to a 5-1 setback. Carey Price allowed three of the goals on four shots before being replaced 10:25 into the game by Peter Budaj, who gave up two goals on 24 shots in relief.
"I kind of put us behind the 8-ball right off the bat. You can't come out to a start like that," said Price.
Davis Drewiske recorded the lone goal for the Canadiens, who had won six of eight coming in and failed to extend their one-point lead over the Boston Bruins for first place in the Northeast Division. Montreal has 57 points with seven games left to play, while Boston also has seven contests remaining and hosts the Ottawa Senators on Monday.
The Habs, who have already secured a playoff spot, are seeking their first division title since 2007-08 and head coach Michel Therrien isn't worried about his team falling into a rut.
"We had some good scoring chances and we were skating well," said Therrien. "There have been a few games we probably shouldn't have won and our goalie stole them for us. Tonight was a tough one. But this is a team with a lot of character and these are the kinds of athletes who are going to bounce back from this."
Montreal will look to deal Philadelphia a season-high fifth loss in a row and the Flyers' current slide has put the club in serious danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time since 1995. Philadelphia is nine points back of eighth place with seven games to play.
The Flyers have struggled on the road all season long, with Saturday's 1-0 loss to the hosting Buffalo Sabres marking their third straight setback as the guest and eighth in the last nine away from Philadelphia. They are just 5-15-1 as the visiting team this season.
Steve Mason made his second start and third appearance with the Flyers, making 20 saves and giving up a goal on a tough bounce early in the third. He failed to close off the near post after Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff sent a shot from the left point that careened off the end boards before deflecting off Mason's right pad.
"It's an unfortunate way, frustrating way," Mason said. "It's almost like a set play for them I guess. It's just a real frustrating way to lose the game."
Mason was pulled with just over 90 seconds remaining for the extra attacker. Philadelphia's last shot -- from Danny Briere at a sharp angle along the left wing -- beat Buffalo's Jhonas Enroth but deflected off the crossbar as time expired.
Briere was returning to the lineup after missing 10 games with a concussion.
The Flyers and Canadiens have split the first two meetings this season, with each team winning once at home. Philadelphia has taken seven of the past nine encounters overall.