While frustration is beginning to bubble among the Anaheim Ducks, it may reach a boiling point for the Carolina Hurricanes with another home loss.
The Ducks can end their struggles on the road and add to Carolina's heightening concern Monday night in a matchup between two scuffling teams.
Anaheim (5-8-4) opened November with four consecutive wins but is suddenly trying to avoid its third losing streak of at least four games.
The Ducks followed their win streak with three consecutive home losses last week in which they allowed at least four goals on fewer than 30 shots. They left some points on the table in back-to-back 4-3 overtime losses to Arizona and Edmonton before capping the slide with Friday's ugly 4-1 defeat to the New York Islanders.
“Any time you lose by three in your building, it's never a fun feeling,” defenseman Cam Fowler told the team's official website. “We weren't even really satisfied with the couple of points we've gotten in the last couple of games.
“It's a disappointing feeling. Not much to be explained.”
The answer will have to come on the road for the Ducks, who open this four-game trip with a 5-0-1 record against the Hurricanes since Feb. 8, 2012.
Anaheim, however, is 1-5-1 away from home this season, though its most recent win came 1-0 at San Jose on Nov. 7. The Ducks have been shut out three times away from home, a key reason for their league-low 1.65 goals per game.
With captain Ryan Getzlaf's goal drought at 13 games and Jakob Silfverberg's at 17, Anaheim hopes some youth can add energy.
The Ducks recalled top prospect Nick Ritchie and center Michael Sgarbossa from the AHL on Saturday among a series of moves. The 19-year-old Ritchie, the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft, has nine goals in 12 games in his first pro season with San Diego.
Ritchie could make his NHL debut against Hurricanes backup goaltender Eddie Lack, who will make his first start since Nov. 6. Lack has struggled in four appearances in place of Cam Ward, but he went 2-0-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in three starts against Anaheim last season.
Carolina (6-9-2) has lost five of six, going 1-2-2 at home in that span. The latest two losses both came 3-2 in overtime against Minnesota and Philadelphia. The Hurricanes coughed up an early 2-0 lead against the Flyers on Saturday to fall to 2-4-2 at PNC Arena.
“It's frustrating,” center Eric Staal told the team's official website. “We're trying to come away with a W in the third period, and it felt like we were hanging on a little bit instead of making plays.”
The Hurricanes, playing their third on a five-game homestand, have scored just eight goals in their last five overall and have averaged 2.25 per game in eight at home.
They will likely play without defenseman Ryan Murphy after he suffered a concussion Saturday. Murphy was hurt when he was illegally boarded by Ryan White, who was penalized. Murphy will go through the league's concussion protocol and is considered day to day.
Frederik Andersen, who surrendered all four goals in Anaheim's last two overtime losses, has two career wins against Carolina despite allowing seven combined goals in those games.
- Anaheim Ducks
- Cam Fowler
- Cam Ward
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Eddie Lack
- Eric Staal
- Frederik Andersen
- Michael Sgarbossa
- Nick Ritchie
- Ryan Murphy