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Hurricanes-Canucks Preview

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It's been a rough start to a four-game road trip for the Carolina Hurricanes, who are now headed to a place they haven't won in this decade.

The Hurricanes (15-12-3) try to snap out of their funk when they visit the Vancouver Canucks (13-14-1) on Friday night.

After scoring nine goals in back-to-back home wins, the Hurricanes have been shut down on this trip. They lost 3-0 to Calgary on Tuesday, then were beaten 3-1 by Edmonton on Wednesday in a rematch of the Stanley Cup finals.

"It was a big game for us," Carolina goalie Cam Ward said. "We weren't very satisfied with our outing last night in Calgary. Since we only play Edmonton once a year, and now have this history between us, it is a big game. We'll learn from it and hopefully come back stronger against Vancouver."

The Hurricanes haven't had much success lately against the Canucks, who have won four straight in the series. Carolina hasn't beaten Vancouver since a 4-1 road victory Oct. 15, 1999.

This is the teams' first matchup since Dec. 14, 2003, when Vancouver won 2-1 in overtime at GM Place.

Carolina has lost four of its past five games away from home, getting shut out twice in that span.

The Canucks are the third of four straight Northwest Division opponents for the Hurricanes, who hope to break through with some offense. The team hasn't scored a power-play goal in five games, failing to convert on all 20 chances with the man advantage.

"We have to keep fighting through it," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said after Wednesday's loss. "There is no real excuse for it. I thought our power play did a better job tonight but we just couldn't get it into the back of the net."

The Hurricanes could be missing captain Rod Brind'Amour, who left Wednesday's game with an undisclosed lower body injury and didn't return. Laviolette wouldn't comment on Brind'Amour's injury after the game. The 36-year-old center leads Carolina with 26 assists and 36 points.

Vancouver is also dealing with injury woes of its own following a 4-0 loss to Edmonton on Monday.

The Canucks lost forward Taylor Pyatt for two to four weeks with a shoulder injury, while defenseman Sami Salo is out seven to 10 days with a nerve injury in his shoulder.

Pyatt is second on the team with nine goals, while Salo leads Canucks defensemen with 14 points. Without those two, it could be even tougher for Vancouver to muster some offense - something it has struggled to do recently.

The Canucks have scored more than two goals only twice in the last 16 games and are last in the NHL with 2.07 goals per contest.

"We're a good team and a good team has to find ways to win even when you're short personnel," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Everybody goes through tough situations like this and we're no different than anybody else."

Friday's contest is the finale of a five-game homestand for Canucks, who have alternated wins and losses so far. They've scored only four goals in the first four games and have five goals in their last six contests overall.

"With our goal scoring that hasn't been going and you lose a couple key players, that's not good but good teams find a way to get things done under the turmoil and we're going to have to do that so we've got to keep it simple," defenseman Willie Mitchell said.

This is only Vancouver's second game against an Eastern Conference team. The Canucks beat Washington 3-2 in a shootout Oct. 27.

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