After watching his team get shut out for the second time in three games, Claude Julien would like the Boston Bruins to get back to basics tonight when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Boston has lost two of three and four of its last six games and was handed a 3-0 setback by Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers on Tuesday.
The Bruins fired 42 shots at Lundqvist, including 18 in the third period, but they couldn't solve the Swedish netminder. Boston had also been shut out last Wednesday in a 6-0 rout in Buffalo before rebounding with Saturday's 4-3 shootout win over visiting Nashville.
Tuesday's loss dropped the Bruins nine points behind the Rangers for the top seed in the East. The defending Stanley Cup champions are still four points up on Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division.
Boston is just 6-7-1 in its last 14 trips to the ice and Julien believes his team's recent struggles are a result of the Bruins getting away from what they do best.
"We're a checking team that scores. That's our identity," Julien said after Tuesday's loss. "We're a checking team that scores, but right now, we're not checking and we're not scoring."
Julien hopes Boston can find its physical game on the road, as the B's are kicking off a six-game road trip tonight. The Bruins have a solid 16-8-0 record as the guest this year.
While the Bruins fired a ton of shots at Lundqvist on Tuesday, Tim Thomas stopped just 17-of-20 shots for Boston.
"We certainly could have done more," Julien added. "They won more battles than we did tonight."
Tuukka Rask will likely get the start in net tonight, although he is 1-6-1 with a 2.76 goals-against average in nine career games against Montreal.
Tyler Seguin led Boston with seven shots on net on Tuesday, but he went without a point for the sixth time in seven games. Seguin, who has one goal over that stretch, is tied for the team lead with 20 goals this season.
Tonight's test marks the sixth and final scheduled meeting between the Habs and Bruins this year. Montreal took the first two encounters back in October, but Boston has won three straight since. The Bruins have still been handed losses in six of their last eight trips to Quebec.
The Canadiens will try to get back on track tonight after having a four-game winning streak halted by the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. Montreal had tied its longest hot streak of the season with the four consecutive victories, but the Habs squandered a 3-2 lead in the third period of Monday's test against the Hurricanes.
Eric Staal netted two goals and added an assist -- all in the third period -- to lift Carolina to the 5-3 decision at Bell Centre.
Tomas Plekanec, Erik Cole and David Desharnais scored and Carey Price made 30 saves in defeat for the Canadiens, who were trying to post five straight victories for the first time since March of last season.
Montreal is currently 12th in the Eastern Conference and is seven points out of a playoff spot.
The Canadiens are completing a brief two-game homestand tonight and are just 11-12-7 in Montreal this year.