Senators-Hurricanes Preview

The Associated Press

The Carolina Hurricanes have already endured a five-game losing streak this season. Hosting the Ottawa Senators could keep them from dealing with another.

The Hurricanes will try to snap their four-game skid by continuing their home dominance of the Senators on Sunday.

Carolina (8-10-5) is struggling through a 4-8-2 stretch which began with a season-worst five-game slide from Oct. 25-Nov. 3.

The Hurricanes are on the brink of matching that after losing 3-2 in overtime at Boston on Saturday. Carolina was outshot 26-10 in the first two periods and 38-24 overall.

Coach Kirk Muller still came away pleased with earning a point in the standings and hopes it will serve as the catalyst for a turnaround.

"I think that's huge for us," Muller told the team's official website. "Not too many teams are going to walk in here and get points the way they're playing. We battled through a little adversity earlier on, but I thought the guys played hard, played well, and that's a big point.

"We can kind of turn the corner and gain on and build on (it Sunday)."

The Hurricanes have to like their chances after going 9-0-1 in their last 10 home games against Ottawa (9-10-4), including a 1-0 victory on Feb. 1. They haven't lost in regulation to the Senators at PNC Arena since a 6-0 defeat on Dec. 12, 2007.

Eric Staal scored the lone goal Feb. 1, giving him five with eight assists over the past 10 matchups in Carolina. He enters this contest with one point in each of his last five games, combining with Jeff Skinner to assist on Andrej Sekera's power-play goal against the Bruins.

It was Skinner's first point in two games since missing 11 with an upper-body injury. The left wing, who has 10 points in 12 games this season, has two in four home meetings with the Senators.

Ottawa will try to build on a 4-2 win at Detroit on Saturday that snapped its losing streak at three games.

"We're a desperate team right now. We need every win and to get on a roll," goaltender Robin Lehner said.

Lehner, who had 34 saves against the Red Wings, may return to the bench in favor of Craig Anderson, despite compiling a 2.01 goals-against average while winning four of his last five games.

Anderson has lost three of his last four with a 3.77 GAA, and he's 2-1-3 with a 2.39 GAA over six career visits to Raleigh.

Erik Karlsson leads all NHL defensemen with 24 points, but he's recorded only one in seven career games at Carolina - with none in the past three. The 2012 Norris Trophy winner had a pair of assists Saturday, giving him six points during a five-game streak.

Bobby Ryan, facing the Hurricanes for the first time as a member of the Senators, has mustered just two assists in five previous meetings while with Anaheim. The left wing's 22 points are second on the team to Karlsson after he had a goal and an assist versus Detroit.

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