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Senators-Hurricanes Preview @NHL

The Carolina Hurricanes better get used to the RBC Center since they'll be spending a lot of time there this month with eight of their next 10 games at home.

The Hurricanes play the first of three straight on home ice Friday night when the surging Ottawa Senators visit.

Only Edmonton (3) has played fewer home games than Carolina (4) which has played eight of its last 10 on the road. The Hurricanes wrapped up a brief two-game road trip with a disappointing 3-2 loss Thursday to Washington.

Carolina (7-4-2) gave up two goals in the final 2:43, including Alexander Semin's game-winner with 10.9 seconds remaining.

"We thought we had the game, and that was the problem," said Tuomo Ruutu, who scored in the second period and will face his brother, Jarkko, in Friday's game. "We've got to play 60 minutes to win. A team like this is going to come after us. We have to learn from this."

The defeat snapped a two-game winning streak and also kept Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette from becoming the winningest American-born coach in NHL history. Laviolette has 239 victories in six-plus seasons with Carolina and the New York Islanders and remains tied with former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella.

Slowing down red-hot Dany Heatley will be a top priority Friday for the Hurricanes. Heatley has goals in five straight games, helping Ottawa (6-5-2) to a 4-0-1 record during that span.

Heatley scored his ninth of the season, and Jesse Winchester had his first NHL goal to lift the Senators to a 4-1 win over visiting Philadelphia on Thursday.

The victory moved Senators above the .500 mark for the first time in nearly three weeks.

Heatley has scored at least one goal in five straight games against the Hurricanes, netting six total. He has 14 goals and 15 assists in 23 career games versus Carolina.

Ottawa's Alex Auld has also played a large role in the team's recent success. Auld has started the last seven games after Martin Gerber injured his leg and improved to 5-2-1 overall with Thursday's victory.

In his last five games, Auld has yielded just seven goals and is among the league leaders with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. Auld is 2-3 lifetime against the Hurricanes, losing his last three starts.

"I think overall, it starts with (Auld)," Heatley said. "He's just solid for us, calm and solid back there, and then from there, we work on our defensive game. Overall, we're coming back, our D are moving the puck well and recently we're getting offensive contributions from everybody."

Strong special teams have also helped Ottawa during its run. It hasn't allowed a power-play goal in the last three games, killing nine consecutive penalties.

The Senators' power play, meanwhile, is among the best in the league with a 23.7 conversion rate, scoring on 14 of 59 chances. They have scored a power-play goal in all but two games this season, including one from Heatley on Thursday.

Carolina's power play hasn't been nearly as effective, going 6 for 47 in the last 11 games. The Hurricanes have also allowed a power-play goal in six of their last nine contests.

Ottawa is 7-3-0 in its last 10 meetings with the Hurricanes, scoring at least four goals in six of those wins.

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