The Carolina Hurricanes have reversed course following two pronounced winning streaks, answering five victories to start the season with losses in four of their next five while a recent three-game streak has been countered with four losses in a row. The Hurricanes aim to turn the tide once again on Monday when they host the Ottawa Senators to complete a home-and-home series.
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"It's soul search time for our group and we're better than what we're showing right now, for sure, but (Saturday), that was unacceptable," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters following a 4-1 setback in Ottawa. Andrei Svechnikov's power-play goal in the second period was all that was mustered by the Hurricanes, who have been outscored 17-7 during their losing streak. While the heads of Carolina players were lowered, Ottawa's charges have reason for optimism after they set a franchise record for quickest two goals in a game when they tallied twice in four seconds en route to winning back-to-back games for the first time this season. Vladislav Namestnikov started the quick barrage before being followed by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who scored in his fourth consecutive contest to extend his point streak to five games (five goals, one assist).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN5, RDS (Ottawa), FS Carolinas
ABOUT THE SENATORS (6-9-1): Anders Nilsson has turned aside 96 of 101 shots during his personal three-game winning streak, highlighted by his 38-save performance on Saturday. "It's huge for confidence, especially (with the team putting) together two wins in a row, but as I said before in this league the games come tight and it's a new game on Monday," the 29-year-old Swede told the Ottawa Sun. "You only have to enjoy this game tonight and you have to push the reset button before you go to sleep." Rookie head coach D.J. Smith has shown on the young season that he doesn't tweak his lineup after a win, thus putting Nilsson in position to improve upon his 3-4-1 career mark against Carolina.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (9-7-1): Captain Jordan Staal has seen a great deal of hockey as the longest-tenured member of the Carolina roster, so it stands to reason that his words carry a bit more weight following his candid interview on Saturday. "That game was not good enough all the way through the lineup, including myself. To a man, we've got to work and be ready to go every shift, every period and every game," the 31-year-old Staal told reporters. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton picked up his team-leading 11th assist on Svechnikov's goal and returns to Raleigh (N.C.) where he has collected 13 (four goals, nine assists) of his club-best 18 points.
1. Svechnikov will play in his 100th career NHL game on Monday.
2. Namestinikov, who was on the wrong side of a fight with F Ryan Dzingel in the first period Saturday, has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 14 games since being acquired from the New York Rangers last month.
3. The Hurricanes sport a 6-3-0 record at home while the Senators have struggled mightily away from Canada's capital, posting a 1-5-1 mark.
PREDICTION: Hurricanes 3, Senators 2 Bet Now
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