The way things are going for the Carolina Hurricanes right now, it's understandable if they're feeling somewhat tense.
Despite 47 shots on net Thursday, the Hurricanes suffered a 4-2 loss to the visiting New York Rangers.
It was the third defeat in a row for the Hurricanes (9-6-1), who will look to snap the skid when they open a home-and-home series Saturday against the Ottawa Senators in the Canadian capital.
"We've just got to play, right now, almost a perfect game, it feels like," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I'm pretty sure if we play like that, we will win a lot more games."
The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist continued his mastery of Carolina. He's 31-12-1 against them in his career, winning 22 of his past 26 starts.
"I think we were the better team from start to finish, and their goalie was great. That happens," Brind'Amour said. "In 82 games, your goalie steals one here and there. That's what happened."
Dougie Hamilton and Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes. Left wing Erik Haula, who leads Carolina with eight goals, missed his second straight game due to a knee injury.
"I'm in results mode, but what are you going to say after that? Bad game? You'd be stupid," Brind'Amour said. "I'm happy because that's the way it should look for me. I like the fact that we did pretty much everything we wanted to do. We just didn't get the result."
The Senators (5-9-1) are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory Thursday against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the winner 3:12 into overtime after Los Angeles tied the score with eight seconds left in regulation.
"We're starting to build something here," Pageau said. "I think we played a solid game overall. Slow start at the beginning but after that I think we took over. It was unfortunate that they tied it up. It was good to grab another two points, it was good for the confidence of our team."
Artem Anisimov and Anthony Duclair also scored for the Senators, and Anders Nilsson made 26 saves as Ottawa won for the fourth time in seven games (4-3-0).
Senators forward Brady Tkachuk had an assist to give him six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five games.
"We played one of our best games so far this year," Nilsson said. "We played a solid 60-minute game and we deserved to win after 60 minutes but for the goal there late. It was nice to see we were able to win in overtime."
Senators forward Bobby Ryan, the team's highest-paid player at $7.25 million this season, was scratched for the third time in the past five games
"It's unfortunate for him," Senators coach D.J. Smith said of Ryan. "You can never say anyone's in or out every night, but he's going to have to get some traction. In his defense, he's worked hard and he's done all the things he has to but I don't think he's back to his game yet. It's a hard question to answer, I'd like him to be in every night to provide offense for us, but I don't think we're there yet."
--Field Level Media