The Carolina Hurricanes came as close to earning two points as they have in weeks their last time out. The end result, though, was the same as in their previous 13 games - a loss.
A visit from the Minnesota Wild may provide as good a chance as any to snap their skid.
No team has lost more games on the road than the Wild, and the Hurricanes will try to take advantage Sunday afternoon in Raleigh as they seek their first victory since Oct. 9.
Carolina (2-12-4) reached the Eastern Conference finals last season before being swept by Pittsburgh - four straight losses that seem minor compared to the club’s current drought.
The Hurricanes have been outscored 54-26 during their 14 consecutive defeats (0-10-4). With a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Friday, Carolina tied the franchise record of 14 games in a row without a win set by the 1991-92 Hartford Whalers, who went 0-8 with six ties.
No team since the 2004-05 lockout has gone as long without a victory.
After rallying from a three-goal deficit, scoring three goals for the first time in nine games and earning a point for the first time in eight, Carolina found positives in Friday’s effort.
“It’s a good feeling that our team is still in the fight and can at least block out mentally the hole we’re in and stay in the fight,” coach Paul Maurice told the team’s official Web site. “That still allows you to come to the rink tomorrow.”
Carolina had not earned a point since Oct. 24 , when Sergei Samsonov(notes) and Joni Pitkanen(notes) scored for the Hurricanes before Cal Clutterbuck’s(notes) goal gave the Wild a 3-2 overtime victory.
That Minnesota win came at home, but the Wild (7-11-1) have been woeful on the road at 2-9-1.
The Wild are 1-1-1 on their four-game trip that wraps up Sunday in Raleigh, where they are 0-3 all-time and have been shut out twice.
Clutterbuck scored early in the second period Friday night in Washington, but Minnesota didn’t score again. Josh Harding(notes), starting after Niklas Backstrom(notes) was in net for a 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay a night earlier, made 38 saves but allowed two goals before the Capitals added an empty-netter in a 3-1 win.
“It’s not easy to get into a city at almost 4 o’clock in the morning and have to get up and play the next day,” Clutterbuck said. “I’m sure it had something to do with it. I’m pretty sure we gave it all we had. I don’t think we held anything back. I think the guys in here are pretty exhausted.”
Backstrom should be back in net Sunday, and he has been statistically better on the road - a 2.46 goals-against average compared to 2.80 at home - despite Minnesota’s awful record away from St. Paul.
Backstrom is 3-0-0 with a 2.65 GAA versus Carolina.
Hurricanes goaltender Manny Legace(notes) - signed Monday after Cam Ward(notes) was placed on injured reserve - has plenty of experience against the Wild after spending the first 10 years of his career in the Western Conference. Legace has gone 10-4-2 with a 2.59 GAA in 16 games - 15 starts - versus Minnesota.
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