NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 1st (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (19-28-7) at Edmonton Oilers (16-31-6), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Hurricanes used to have the worst record in the NHL, but thanks to a near-record-tying winless streak, that distinction now belongs to the Oilers.
Edmonton will try to avoid a 14th straight loss this evening versus a Carolina Hurricanes club that is coming off a nine-win January.
The Oilers return to Rexall Place tonight after a 6-1 setback in Calgary on Saturday. The loss gave Edmonton an 0-11-2 mark since a win over Toronto on December 30 and marked the first time that a team swept the season series in the Battle of Alberta, as the Oilers lost all six games to the Flames this year.
A defeat tonight and Edmonton would match its longest winless streak in club history, a 14-game span from October 11-November 7, 1993 that featured 13 losses and a tie.
Sam Gagner scored the lone goal versus the Flames on Saturday and Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves.
"We'll have to just keep scrambling and trying to get little things done well. It sounds trite but it's absolutely true," Oilers head coach Pat Quinn said.
Edmonton, last in the NHL with 38 points, has also lost eight in a row and 15 of its last 16 at home. It will try to earn a victory tonight without defenseman Sheldon Souray, who suffered a fractured hand in a fight with Calgary's Jarome Iginla.
The Oilers will have to slow down a Hurricanes club that went 9-5-0 in January after posting a 10-23-7 record over its first 40 games. Though tied with Toronto for the fewest points in the Eastern Conference with 45, Carolina is now 12 points back of a playoff spot.
The Hurricanes capped January with a big 4-2 win over the Blackhawks. Cam Ward made 39 saves and has allowed just five goals over Carolina's season-high four-game win streak.
"[Ward] has been exceptional, he has been fantastic," said Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice. "Cam was outstanding, and we expect that out of [him], especially in a game like tonight."
Sergei Samsonov had a goal and an assist while Matt Cullen, Jussi Jokinen and Brandon Sutter all scored in the victory. Eric Staal notched an assist to give him eight goals and five assists over an eight-game point streak. He has three goals in four career games versus the Oilers.
The Hurricanes, who haven't won five straight since a franchise-record-tying nine-game run from March 18-April 7, 2009, begin a four-game road trip tonight and are 6-16-4 as the guest this year.
The Oilers posted a 3-1 win at Carolina on November 1 of last season to give them three wins in their last five versus the Hurricanes. Carolina has lost two of its last three at Edmonton, including a 3-1 setback there on December 6, 2006 in the last meeting at Rexall Place.
Ward is 1-2-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average in his career versus the Oilers, while neither Dubnyk or fellow netminder Jeff Deslauriers have faced Carolina before.
02/01 11:01:58 ET