The Carolina Hurricanes will travel more than 15,000 miles through 11 time zones before playing their first home game, and the wear is beginning to show.
Another tough test awaits Tuesday night in San Jose, where the Hurricanes haven’t won in regulation in more than a decade.
Carolina (2-2-0) started the season in Finland with two victories over Minnesota. After returning to North America, though, the Hurricanes lost to Ottawa on Thursday before falling 5-1 to Vancouver on Sunday.
Carolina, which opens its home schedule Oct. 27, will have played five road games in nine days after returning from Europe.
“I feel sluggish and we just don’t have that jump right now,” defenseman Joe Corvo(notes) said. “A lot of guys might say they feel all right, but to be honest with you, we’ve traveled so many miles and lost so much sleep, it’s something you don’t even know is going on in your body.”
The Hurricanes will play for the third time in five days Tuesday, then face Los Angeles the next night before finishing the trip against Phoenix on Saturday.
San Jose started its season in Sweden, but has had the opposite problem from Carolina. The Sharks have been home for more than a week and are trying to get back in rhythm after a long break.
San Jose (1-1-1) had six days off after splitting two games with Columbus overseas. The inactivity appeared to show up in a 4-2 loss to visiting Atlanta on Sunday, as the Sharks led 2-0 in the first period before allowing four goals.
“We had a little bit of energy early, but we kind of faded,” center Joe Thornton(notes) said. “Maybe that week off hurt us. We had a lot of rust there the second part of that game. I don’t think we executed the way we normally do.
“We didn’t look quick tonight, but we’ve got to be better on Tuesday.”
Ward has allowed nine goals in two career starts against the Sharks.
San Jose will look to continue its dominance over Carolina at HP Pavilion, as it has taken four of the last five road meetings. The Hurricanes, though, won the last game at San Jose 4-3 in a shootout Feb. 5, 2009.
The Sharks beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Nov. 1 in the teams’ only meeting last season, avoiding a third straight loss in the series.
Thornton has recorded eight points in the last four matchups with Carolina, while teammate Ryan Clowe has a goal and three assists in the last two meetings.