The New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes are in virtually identical situations in the Eastern Conference playoff race, needing points with seven games left.
The Devils' push has gone better lately, and they seek their sixth win in nine contests Sunday in Raleigh.
New Jersey (36-31-8) has only one team between it and Philadelphia, which occupies the East's final wild-card spot, while Carolina (32-28-15) lurks just behind the Devils in the standings.
While New Jersey is 5-2-1 in its past eight games, the Hurricanes dropped to 1-2-4 in their last seven after a 4-3 overtime defeat to the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Carolina couldn't hold on to a second-period lead while moving one shy of matching its team-record of 16 defeats via overtime or shootouts set in 2011-12. The franchise also registered 16 or more ties in five other seasons.
“We're in games. We're right there,” said forward Jordan Staal, whose team has earned at least one point in nine of its 11 contests this month. “Unfortunate endings. I thought we battled pretty hard, besides the first period. … Just didn't come up with the two points.”
The Devils also earned one point in their latest game, falling 1-0 in overtime to league-leading Washington on Friday. They were coming off a 3-0 shutout against Pittsburgh the day before, and John Carlson ruined Scott Wedgewood's attempt at back-to-back blankings in his third NHL start.
“All points are valuable. It's disappointing not to get the second one. It's tough to get points this time of year so you'll take what you can get,” forward Kyle Palmieri said.
Wedgewood was called up last Sunday due to No. 1 goaltender Cory Schneider's knee injury. Coach John Hynes said Schneider is not expected to return until next week at the earliest.
“He's played great since he got here,” Palmieri said of Wedgewood. '”Hopefully he can keep that going. It makes it a lot harder on other teams. They come in and see that he's only had three NHL games and they think it's going to be point night. He goes out and surprises them.”
New Jersey has split its four games with Carolina this season, and each team is 1-1-0 on visiting ice. The Hurricanes are 1-3-1 in their last five at home and have given up a combined 19 goals in those games.
The Devils allowed 13 in back-to-back road losses before beating Pittsburgh.
“Against them, it's always a tight checking game. They do a pretty good job of clogging up the neutral zone,” Carolina forward Jeff Skinner said. “We've got to try to make plays.”
New Jersey forward Adam Henrique scored in the victory over the Penguins and has four of his career-high 27 goals in the past five games. He has eight goals in his last 12 versus Carolina.
Hurricanes forward Chris Terry has three goals and two assists in a career-high five-game point streak but hasn't recorded one in his last four matchups against New Jersey.