NHL Hockey

7
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Carolina 3 3 1 7
Edmonton 1 1 2 4
4
6:30 PM PT7:30 PM MT8:30 PM CT9:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)21:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 20, 2019
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta  Attendance: 18,347

Two-game skid wears on Hurricanes, with Oilers next

Carolina Hurricanes at Edmonton Oilers

  1. The Hurricanes and Oilers split their two meetings last season, with the road team winning each game. The teams combined to go 4-for-12 on the power play in the game in Edmonton, where the Hurricanes held off the Oilers' comeback after leading 3-0 in the second period before winning, 5-3.

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour is in the mood to change some lines, something he often avoids during games.

But with one of the most disturbing performances of the season prior to a three-game road trip, he was already in a tinkering frame of mind.

Carolina plays Sunday night against the Oilers in Edmonton, trying to avoid an extended slide going into the All-Star break.

He couldn't stomach watching the direction of Friday night's 4-1 home loss to the Ottawa Senators.

"We were so bad I almost dressed and got out there," Brind'Amour said. "We didn't want to play like we are supposed to. I didn't know what I was watching. It was the first time I could say that all year."

The Hurricanes have lost two in a row after winning seven of eight games.

Edmonton lost 5-2 on Saturday night to the Calgary Flames, snapping a two-game winning streak. The Oilers had captured three of its last four games before that setback in a rivalry game, and now the task will be to regroup right away.

In addition to the unusual in-game line changes for the Hurricanes, they could extend some of those types of moves into the road trip.

Part of that might involve right winger Nino Niederreiter, who made his Carolina debut Friday night after being acquired a day earlier in a trade from the Minnesota Wild. Brind'Amour said he thought Niederreiter was steady, and he hopes that there's better play around him in the future.

What concerned Brind'Amour the most was the timing of the performance. The Hurricanes considered the game against Ottawa especially important after a rough outing earlier in the week, losing 6-2 to the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

"It's tough this time of year to have that kind of game," Brind'Amour said.

Still, there was a lesson there for the Hurricanes.

"It boils down to trying to be a little too cute," left winger Jordan Martinook said. "We know how we can play, and we can beat good teams."

That will be necessary in Edmonton in the first meeting of the season with the Oilers.

"I think people are starting to understand and appreciate the way we're playing, and we're putting everything we can into it," Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We'll see where this goes, but anything they can do to help, we're more than willing to get it if we can."

Hitchcock said one of the keys for the Oilers is keeping the young forwards up to speed as the stakes seem to be rising.

"I wouldn't say a surprise to them, but it's a little bit overwhelming at times because they found another gear since Christmas time in the league that they didn't anticipate," Hitchcock said. "So they're having a difficult time. ... It's going to take some getting used to."

The Oilers were in what Hitchcock described as an emotional game with Calgary on Saturday night, so re-producing some of that will be essential when Carolina visits.

Edmonton defenseman Alexander Petrovic didn't play Saturday, night but Hitchcock indicated he might be ready to get back in the lineup soon. With games on back-to-back nights, that opportunity might present itself.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 20, 2019

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