The Carolina Hurricanes know that playing well, as they've done quite a bit at times, is no guarantee of a victory.
Negative results are difficult to digest, but the key for coach Rod Brind'Amour is to avoid allowing those unfortunate outcomes to impact the future.
So that will be one of the areas the Hurricanes address Thursday night when they host the San Jose Sharks.
The Hurricanes have some recovering to do after Tuesday night's 2-0 loss at Boston in a rematch of last spring's Eastern Conference finals.
Brind'Amour said it's tough when the team plays well but walks away without a win -- and even worse, no points.
"These ones sting. These are the ones that are hard to come back from," he said. "We're going to have to pick the pieces up. No one feels sorry for you. You have to get right back at it."
It's an important week for Carolina and there's probably some urgency for the Hurricanes, who aside from this game and Saturday's matchup with the Minnesota Wild, don't have another home game until Dec. 21.
The Sharks are busy as well. They wrapped up a stretch of five games in nine days with Tuesday night's 5-2 home loss to the Washington Capitals.
Then it was a cross-country trip to Raleigh, N.C., for the second meeting of the season with the Hurricanes. San Jose won 5-2 at home on Oct. 16.
"Some big tests. Good teams, tough buildings," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "Big tests."
This is the beginning of a stretch of four road games in six nights for the Sharks. They won two games in a row before the setback to Washington.
DeBoer said the Sharks' commitment to defend in the zone was softer than they could afford in the Washington game. But otherwise, there have been good stretches for a defensive unit that's also prone to produce some offense.
"I like our defense corps. I like where they're at," DeBoer said. "Those guys aren't going to shoot as much as they have in the past because other teams are taking that way."
The Hurricanes have lost three of their past four games, so Brind'Amour might be aiming to make sure confidence doesn't wane.
"A lot of our losses have been this way where we're in the game and you make the critical error," Brind'Amour said. "Keep it simple and not give up too many Grade 'A' (chances)."
The Hurricanes have been shut out twice this season -- both in the past three games.
"It's not a lack of effort," Brind'Amour said of some sequences. "We're trying to do too much."
Carolina has used goalie James Reimer as the starter the past two games. Those are his first consecutive starts this season.
Brind'Amour credited Reimer with keeping the Hurricanes within range in the Boston game.
Still, the Hurricanes tend to turn to Petr Mrazek in home games, where he has been mostly stellar since last season.
For the Hurricanes, this is the first of seven consecutive games against teams from the Western Conference.
--Field Level Media