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Hurricanes' trip continues against Oilers

by Brian Compton

HURRICANES (13-13-5) at OILERS (10-18-3)


Last 10: Carolina 5-4-1; Edmonton 6-3-1

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers. They will face each other again on March 16 at PNC Arena.

Big story: Carolina continues its four-game road trip, which started with a 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday thanks to a 31-save performance by rookie goalie Eddie Lack. The Oilers will be aiming to bounce back from a 2-1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Carolina did manage 31 shots on goal Monday, but Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller thought his club didn't do a good enough job of creating havoc in front of Lack, who recorded his first NHL shutout.

Carolina had its three-game win streak snapped.

"We wanted to get more traffic in front," Muller said. "We got some pucks to the net, but he saw a lot of them so we didn't get the screen and tip plays we were hoping for. He saw a lot of those shots and he's a big goalie, so he's going to make those saves."

Oilers: With four goals and two assists, forward Taylor Hall was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week on Monday. Hall's production has played in a role in the Oilers building some confidence in recent weeks in an attempt to claw their way out of the basement and up the Western Conference standings.

"Taylor Hall is always going to get his offense, he is," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins told the team website. "He's strong, he has speed, he's got good vision and he has good hands. 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. He gives us energy and he's a guy that we look to, to produce in a number of different situations. He's been very good as of late."

Who's hot: Besides Hall, left wing David Perron is also rolling. Perron has a five-game point streak (four goals, three assists).

Injury report: Carolina forward Alexander Semin (concussion) is close to returning. The Hurricanes will likely be without defensemen Mike Komisarek (lower body) and Drayson Bowman (lower body). … Oilers forward Boyd Gordon (shoulder) has missed four games. Goalies Ilya Bryzgalov (possible concussion) and Richard Bachman (lower body), defenseman Philip Larsen (back) and forward Tyler Pitlick (knee) are out.

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