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NHL: 3 things to know for Monday night

12/01/2014 11:41 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST
The start of a new month finds the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers battling to end losing streaks, the latter's approaching double digits. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay arrives in New York trying to separate itself from an Eastern Conference logjam.

Here are 3 things to watch for Monday in the NHL:

​Canadiens need to recover mid-November form

Sailing along with eight victories in nine starts, everything was going well for the Montreal Canadiens. But they finished November with a shutout loss to the Rangers and back-to-back one-goal losses in a home-and-home series with the Buffalo Sabres, the latest on Saturday, 4-3 in a shootout.

Although they're still among the leaders at the top of the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens (16-7-2) will want to stop that losing streak at three games. On Monday they face old friend Patrick Roy and his Avalanche (9-10-5) team in Colorado.

A couple of good signs for Montreal on Saturday were the 11th goal of the season by Max Pacioretty that gave the Habs a third-period lead against Buffalo, and an earlier goal by Brendan Gallagher, his sixth, that broke a goalless drought. Gallagher didn't let his dry spell get him down as he had a little fun with teammate P.K. Subban.

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The Avalanche, only .500 on home ice, have played better of late, winning five of seven, including 5-2 over Dallas Saturday.

Oilers host toothless Coyotes

Should the Oilers (6-14-4) lose for a 10th consecutive time, that would be their worst winless streak since going 12 games without a victory in 2007.

During their 0-6-3 span, the Oilers have been outscored 31-16. Their last two defeats, however, saw them play much better defence and take Nashville and St. Louis to overtime. They should be well rested since they had the weekend off after Friday's 4-3 OT loss to the Blues as they host the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes (9-12-3) are on their own little slide, dropping their last three games while scoring only four goals. They're 1-3-2 in their last six, including being shut out 3-0 by Calgary on home ice Saturday.

In the Coyotes' favour is two wins in as many tries against the Oilers this season. That's part of the reason why Edmonton is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, five points below Arizona.

Lightning, Rangers gaining momentum

Two teams on winning streaks collide in the Big Apple as the Tampa Bay Lightning (11--6-2) visit the New York Rangers (11-8-4).

The Lightning are battling for supremacy at the top of the Eastern Conference with three other teams (Canadiens, Penguins, Islanders) all tied with 34 points.

A well-balanced attack against Ottawa on Saturday saw scoring contributions from three Lightning lines in a 4-1 triumph. Steven Stamkos sits fifth in the scoring race with 27 points, including 15 goals.

The Rangers seek a season-tying third win in a row after sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday and Saturday. They are out to avenge last week's 4-3 setback at the hands of the Lightning.

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