Hurricanes-Oilers Preview

Jeff Skinner and the Carolina Hurricanes are looking to get back

on track as they continue a four-game road trip.

A meeting with the Western Conference-worst Edmonton Oilers

could help.

After opening this trek with a loss, Skinner and the Hurricanes

will try to bounce back and keep red-hot Taylor Hall in check

Tuesday night against the Oilers.

Carolina (13-13-5) was shut out for the second time this season

Monday, falling 2-0 at Vancouver in the opener of this trip.

The Hurricanes had won three in a row overall and on the road,

scoring 14 goals during both streaks.

”I thought we were coming on,” Carolina coach Kirk Muller

said. ”You have to fight for your opportunities, and in the second

we got going, and the third we got a lot of juice but they are not

giving up a lot of chances.”

Skinner had a team-high five shots Monday, but was held without

a point in back-to-back games after scoring five goals and

assisting on another over the previous two.

Skinner leads the Hurricanes with nine goals, six coming in 11

road games.

He has two goals and two assists in two career meetings with the

Oilers, scoring a power-play goal in a 5-3 win in his only visit to

Edmonton on Dec. 7, 2011.

The Hurricanes have split six meetings with the Oilers since

beating them in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup finals. However,

they’ve won the last two matchups while scoring 12 goals.

The Oilers (10-18-3) sit at the bottom of the West standings,

but are 6-3-1 since losing 10 of 11.

Hall has been a big part of the team’s improved play, tallying

six goals and six assists in his last nine games. His 25 points tie

him with David Perron and Jordan Eberle for the team lead.

While Hall has been doing his part offensively, coach Dallas

Eakins feels he’s also having a strong impact defensively.

“Taylor Hall is always going to get his offense, he is,” Eakins

told the team’s official website. “The place that Taylor is

improving, not only from the eyes of the coaches but our people

upstairs, is his defensive play.

“It’s small, little things that we have been promoting with him

and he’s taken to heart and he’s getting better at. He’s turning

into a much more rounded player and he’s a horse. When he’s on, he

carries our team.”

Hall has five goals with as many assists during a six-game point

streak at home. He kept the streak going by scoring with 10.1

seconds left in regulation, but the Oilers fell 2-1 in overtime to

Calgary on Saturday.

Hall was held without a point in a 7-1 road loss in his only

meeting with the Hurricanes on Nov. 9, 2010, while Skinner had one

goal and two assists.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal in the most recent matchup with

Carolina, but he enters this one with one point in four games. The

center had eight over the previous five contests.

The Oilers likely will have to contend with Cam Ward in net

after Justin Peters stopped 24 of 25 shots against the Canucks.

Ward has won the last two games against Edmonton while turning

away 43 of 44 shots.

He’s 3-1-1 with a 3.14 goals-against average in six road

games.