After being shut out by a Southeast Division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes look to avoid a fourth straight loss Saturday when they host the woeful Boston Bruins.
Carolina (26-22-6) has been outscored 15-4 during its three-game losing streak. The team has lost five of six games, going 2-for-29 on the power play, since a 4-0-1 stretch.
Among the struggling Hurricanes is captain Rod Brind'Amour, who has only three points in the last six games. The center leads the team with 41 assists and his 55 points are second to Ray Whitney's 58.
Carolina was handed its second consecutive defeat at home and Eastern Conference-high seventh shutout loss of the season on Thursday, 4-0 to Tampa Bay.
"I think everybody's frustrated," said Hurricanes goaltender John Grahame, who stopped only 16 shots. "We're not really sure what to do.
"Sooner or later, you hope that we'd start to get a few of those bounces."
Goaltender Cam Ward is expected to return to the starting role Saturday with Grahame relegated to backup duties. Ward is 1-2-2 with a 3.97 goals-against average in his last six starts.
The netminder that backstopped the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in June, Ward hopes to take advantage of facing one of the worst teams in the East.
The Hurricanes have won the first two of four season meetings with the Bruins, outscoring them 10-3. Carolina won the last matchup 5-2 at Boston on Dec. 2 as Eric Staal scored twice and Ward made 17 saves.
The Bruins (22-24-4) hope to snap a pair of season-high losing streaks that have landed the club in 14th place in the East.
Boston has only four goals during its five-game skid overall, and has been outscored 34-9 during a seven-game road losing streak that dates back to Dec. 29.
"Sometimes you get pushed to the edge, and we're at the edge right now," Bruins coach Dave Lewis said after Thursday's 3-1 home loss to Buffalo. "There's two things that happen, you either fight or flee. Some guys have stepped up and fought, and others have not yet."
Scoring has been a key problem for Boston all season with only 140 goals, ranking ahead of only Philadelphia (125) in the East.
"The bounces are not going our way," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "Obviously, we need to stay positive because it's an important time of the year and we need to get on a winning streak."
Bergeron is third on the team with 16 goals, but has only one in his last nine games. Team points leader Marc Savard has no goals and two assists during the Bruins' five-game skid.