The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled away from home lately, but the next stop on their five-game road trip might be just what they needed.
Carolina will try to win in Montreal for the ninth straight time on Saturday night and hand the Canadiens their longest home losing streak in more than seven years.
The Hurricanes (15-11-3) last lost at Montreal on Feb. 28, 2004, outscoring the Canadiens 30-12 in winning eight in a row there.
After starting 6-2-2 away from home, Carolina has won just one if its last five road games - the Hurricanes were outscored 21-5 in the four losses. This road trip ends Sunday in Detroit.
Though they’ve dropped two of three to the Canadiens this season, Carolina is 12-4-1 against Montreal since the 2004-05 lockout, including four wins in the first round of the 2006 playoffs en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
The Canadiens (14-10-4) lost all three of their home games in that series, and enter this matchup looking to avoid their fifth straight defeat at the Bell Centre. That would be their worst losing streak at home since dropping seven in a row from Oct. 28-Nov. 20, 2000.
Carolina, though, enters the final meeting of the season between these clubs not playing its best hockey.
Since getting off to a 9-3-3 start, the Hurricanes have gone 6-8-0. They scored 58 goals while allowing 36 in the first 15 games, converting on 26.2 percent of their power plays. In the last 14 games, they have scored 33 goals and allowed 51 while converting on the power play 14.7 percent of the time.
They haven’t put together back-to-back wins since Nov. 10-12, and are coming off a 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Leading scorer Cory Stillman (16 goals, 18 assists) had the team’s lone goal against the Lightning, a desperation tally with 14 seconds left, but wasn’t happy after being unable to score on any of his other five shots.
“It’s frustrating when you don’t score, especially in a close game,” Stillman said. “I had two or three quality chances in the crease, and they don’t go in. I needed to score.”
Montreal has done much of its scoring on the power play, ranking among the league leaders at 24.4 percent. Alexei Kovalev has a team-high eight power-play goals.
Chris Higgins scored one of his own Thursday as the Canadiens snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Boston.
“It was huge, we needed to get back on the winning side,” said Higgins, who scored for the third consecutive game. “We were down a little bit…the city and the fans were a little down on us.”
Huet has been in goal for all three games against the Hurricanes this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.66 GAA. He’s 3-2-0 with a tie in six career starts against Carolina.