Montreal coach Alain Vigneault had a simple explanation for the Canadiens' problems.
"Our execution is nonexistent," Vigneault said after Montreal's 5-1 loss to Ottawa on Saturday night. "There's no speed. We can't put two passes together. This is not the Montreal Canadiens I know."
Montreal is 0-3-1 in its last four games and 1-5-1 in seven games after opening the season 2-0-0.
"Bad decisions, bad line changes and bad passes," Canadiens center Vincent Damphousse said. "It's all a part of preparation."
Shawn McEachern scored twice and Alexei Yashin had his first goal of the season for the Senators, who have won two straight to improve to 5-3-2.
Andreas Johansson and Radek Bonk also scored. Ron Tugnutt made 27 saves, allowing only Mark Recchi's third-period goal.
Recchi's goal gave him 800 career point.
"It's no big deal," Recchi said. "It doesn't matter if I score in that situation or not."
Montreal starting goalie Jocelyn Thibault was pulled midway through the first period after allowing three goals on 10 shots.
McEachern opened the scoring 4:44 into the game when he converted on a partial breakaway from just inside the blue line. His wrist shot squeezed between Thibault's pads.
On Ottawa's next shot, 90 seconds later, Johansson beat Thibault to the far side when he used Vaclav Prospal as a decoy on a 2-on-1 break.
McEachern chased Thibault to the bench when he surprised the Canadiens' goalie with a wrist shot from the right circle.
Yashin broke his eight-game scoring slump when he tapped a rebound of a slap shot by Patrick Traverse past Jose Theodore during a second-period power play.
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