The Carolina Hurricanes haven't lost at home in seven weeks, setting a franchise record and securing a playoff berth.
They'll try to continue that success against the NHL-worst New York Islanders on Tuesday night in an effort to gain an edge in the race for home-ice advantage.
The Hurricanes (44-28-7) have won a franchise-record 11 consecutive games at the RBC Center since a 5-1 loss there to Boston on Feb. 17. They kept the streak intact - and clinched a playoff berth - on Saturday by beating Pittsburgh 3-2 in overtime.
That victory also extended Carolina's overall winning streak to eight games. The club last won nine in a row from Dec. 31, 2005-Jan. 19, 2006, en route to its only Stanley Cup.
The Hurricanes are now competing with Philadelphia for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, and home ice in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams have 95 points but the Flyers have a game in hand on Carolina.
"I'm excited to know that we're going to have that chance to return to the playoffs," Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward said. "This is where the work just begins. We've worked extremely hard to get ourselves in this position, and I'm excited for everybody, but we need to bear down in these last three games. I can't express that enough."
Ward has played a major role in the Hurricanes' return to the postseason, and he's expected to make his career-high 27th consecutive start. The netminder is 18-6-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average and two shutouts in the last 26 games. He's been even better in winning every game during the home streak, posting a 1.53 GAA with a shutout.
Ward is also in position to set a team record in wins after making 33 saves Saturday to tie Martin Gerber's mark at 38 victories. Gerber set that record in 2005-06 before Ward replaced him in the playoffs to help Carolina to the Cup, and claim the starting role for good.
Ward is 8-2-0 with a 2.56 GAA in 11 career games against New York (26-43-9), including a 28-save performance in a 5-4 home win on March 20.
Anton Babchuk has also come up big lately, scoring five goals - three game-winners - in eight games. He won another game for Carolina on Saturday, scoring at 1:11 of overtime. He has a career-high 14 goals, tying Joe Corvo for the team lead among defensemen.
The Hurricanes are looking to sweep the four-game season series from the Islanders for the first time since going 5-0 in 1998-99.
New York is looking to win consecutive games after beating Tampa Bay 3-1 on Saturday to snap a three-game slide.
The Isles may opt to give Yann Danis a second consecutive start after he made 29 saves against the Lightning to half a personal five-game skid. The goaltender had a 4.15 GAA during the losing streak after going 5-2-0 with a 1.58 GAA and two shutouts in his previous seven games.
"You go through stretches where the puck doesn't hit you," Danis said. "It happens to all goalies, so I just have to battle through it."