NHL Talk: Avalanche, Senators, Sabres & Canadiens

The daily “NHL Talk” column is your go-to for quotes from the top storylines in the NHL. Listen to THW contributors talk hockey every weekday on The Hockey Writers Podcast, available on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts.

In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more:

Senators Finally Get Goal to End 162:39 Scoring Drought

The Ottawa Senators went more than two full games without tallying a goal, with its 162:39 scoring drought ended by Senators forward Alex Formenton‘s game-opening goal in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday. Ottawa gets some weight off its shoulders after finding the back of the net for the first time in a while. The Senators seem to have rediscovered its scoring touch.

D.J. Smith Ottawa Senators
D.J. Smith, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“I think people were talking about it more than our guys,” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said. “It was great ‘Formy’ scored but that’s kind of the way we’ve been. We get four or five and then we struggle other nights. Tonight was a night it went in for us.”

Sabres’ Skinner Tallies Four Goals; Assist for First Five-Point Game

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner put together a fantastic performance in a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday, tallying a point on every Sabres goal scored. He had four goals and an assist in the game, marking the first five-point game of his NHL career. He moves into Buffalo’s team lead in points, with 34 points (20 goals, 14 assists) in 42 games.

Jeff Skinner Buffalo Sabres
Jeff Skinner, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Anytime you contribute to the team’s success, it’s a good feeling,” Skinner said. “That’s why you play the game.”

His head coach also had great things to say following Skinner’s five-point performance.

“[Skinner]’s deserved more goals than he has this year, which is awesome,” Sabres head coach Don Granato said. “He’s starting to score, he’s got his scoring touch back, he’s got his confidence back. He actually has earned the right for more multigoal games that he hasn’t been rewarded for because he’s been around the net so much.”

Canadiens’ Winless Skid Hits 10 Games for First Time Since 1926

The Canadiens hit a new low with its loss to the Sabres on Sunday, extending its winless skid to 10 games. It marks the first time since 1926 that the franchise has dropped 10 consecutive contests. Montreal’s new head coach, Martin St. Louis, is still in the process of finding a solution.

Martin St. Louis 2018 Hockey Hall Of Fame
Martin St. Louis, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“I’m so focused on the things I want to do, not the things they’ve been doing,” St. Louis said. “I don’t have enough data to really know what their bad habits are. I have a little base of information in three or four days… It’s something I’ve started working on, but I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with them yet to correct their bad habits.”

Avalanche’s Kadri Sets New Career-High in Points

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri is having the best season of his career, with 62 points (20 goals, 42 assists) in 43 games. His goal in a 4-0 win at the Dallas Stars on Sunday secured his new career-high in points. He is staying focused on his gameplay, rather than the stats sheet, in the final year of his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Related: NHL Talk: Coyotes, Oilers & Flyers

“It’s in the back of your mind,” Kadri said of his growing points total. “You’re mindful to it, but it’s not something I focus on too much. I just feel like I’m in a zone right now, and the best way to continue that is to just to stay focused and not get too far ahead of yourself.”

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