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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Sunday, January 24th (All times eastern)

Boston Bruins (23-19-8) at Carolina Hurricanes (15-28-7), 5 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to avoid their longest losing streak in over two years when they visit the lowly Carolina Hurricanes for this evening's battle at RBC Center.

The Bruins have matched a season-high with four straight losses, but the club hasn't dropped five in a row since a six-game slide from December 18-29, 2007.

Carolina, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five and is still last in the NHL with just 37 points on the season.

Carolina and the Bruins have met just once this season on October 3 and that meeting resulted in a 7-2 home win for Boston. The Bruins have won six straight overall in this series and they have also taken three in a row and four of five in Raleigh. The Hurricanes, however, ousted top-seeded Boston from the playoffs last spring by downing the Bruins in seven games during the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Boston is playing the first of two straight on the road today after losing all three tests on its recent homestand. The Bruins, who will visit Buffalo on Friday, have lost four of six as the guest and are 10-8-5 on the road this year.

The Bruins have suffered one-goal regulation setbacks in each of their last two outings and are coming off Saturday's 3-2 loss against visiting Ottawa. Brian Elliott stopped 32-of-33 shots, as the Senators clipped Boston, 2-1, at TD Garden.

Daniel Paille registered the lone goal for the Bruins, who slid to their eighth loss in 10 games. Tim Thomas made 21 saves in defeat and will likely serve as the backup today while Tuukka Rask gets the call in net.

Boston's recent slide has dropped the club outside of the conference playoff picture. With 54 points, the Bruins are currently tied with the New York Islanders for ninth in the East, while a trio of teams are one point ahead in the final three postseason berths.

Forwards Steve Begin, Byron Bitz and Marco Sturm are all expected to miss today's game. Begin and Bitz have missed the last three games with undisclosed injuries, while Sturm has sat out the last four tilts with a leg issue.

The Hurricanes were in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon and dropped a 4-2 decision to the Flyers as Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist for the home team.

Eric Staal and Rod Brind'Amour each had a goal for the Hurricanes.

"We were a bit slow at the start of the game," said Brind'Amour. "Second period we were a lot stronger and the third period was back and forth. Emery made a big save on me at the end and that was the difference."

Manny Legace started the game in net, but left early in the first period with a recurrence of pink eye. He gave up one goal on seven shots while Cam Ward played the rest of the game in net and allowed two goals on 22 shots. Ward, who had started the previous 17 games before Legace's brief appearance on Saturday, will get the start again tonight.

The Hurricanes are 10-12-3 as the host this year and will try to avoid a third straight home loss today.

01/24 11:00:24 ET

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