Golden Knights, Hurricanes both slumping heading into Saturday's game
The Hurricanes showed heart on Friday night by overcoming a 3-0 deficit to force overtime and earn a point, but they ended up with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
It was the third straight loss for Carolina, which has lost six of its past eight games.
Hurricanes winger Sebastian Aho had his assist streak broken Friday, leaving him one shy of the NHL record after he was held without a point for the first time this season. He was trying to become the first player in NHL history with a 13-game assist streak to open a season. Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers in 1982-83, and Ken Linseman of the Boston Bruins in 1985-86 each had 12. Aho has four goals and 13 assists for the season.
"We've got to be ready to start that game. We can't give ourselves that hole to dig out of," Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said on the team's website. "On the other side of it, it just shows the attitude in this room that we won't quit. We fight until the very last second. One point is huge, but we wanted that second one."
"The boys dug in and found a way to get a point, to battle back and show some character in the way we want to play," Staal said.
The three straight losses all have been by one-goal margins, but the recent results have not been good for Carolina, which won four of its first five games to start the season but is now 6-5-2.
Vegas (5-7-1) got to the Stanley Cup Finals as an expansion team last season, but the Golden Knights find themselves in seventh place in the Pacific Division heading into Saturday's action.
They have lost two straight games, including Thursday's 5-3 loss to St. Louis, and have dropped four of their last five. The only win in that span was an overtime victory over Ottawa last Sunday.
Vegas is 29th in the league in scoring, having scored 30 times in 13 games.
"I don't think this is about anybody except us. It's not about the other teams right now it's about our team," said Vegas center Erik Haula on the team's website. "Consistently, we keep making the same kind of mistakes and we aren't playing a full game. That's the problem, it doesn't matter who we're playing. We're at the bottom of the barrel right now. Nobody is in a good mood. But it's not going to come easy. We have to really dig in."
Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny have been out with injuries and Nate Schmidt has been unavailable due to a suspension. Pacioretty (upper body) has missed the past three games and remains day-to-day with no timetable for his return. Stastny (lower body) won't be back for at least another month.
"We have times in the game when we play the right way and other times when we don't, and it ends up costing us big time," Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.said. "We're going to have to figure out how to play a full 60 minutes because right now, 40 is nowhere near close enough."