Oilers, Hurricanes battle in Raleigh

(SportsNetwork.com) - The lowly Edmonton Oilers hope to avoid their longest losing streak in over two months when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes for Sunday's encounter at PNC Arena.

The Oilers, who are behind only Buffalo in the NHL standings, have dropped three straight for the first time since Jan. 11-15. The club hasn't lost four in a row since Dec. 9-27, when they went through a 0-7-2 stretch.

Edmonton has been successful against the Hurricanes in recent years, taking three straight and five of the last seven encounters, including a 6-3 home decision on Oct. 24. The Oilers have won two of the past three meetings in Raleigh.

After losing two straight in regulation, the Oilers were able to earn a point from Chicago when they opened a five-game road trip Friday with a 2-1 shootout loss.

Edmonton went ahead 1-0 after Derek Roy's goal with 4:45 left in the first and held that lead until Brent Seabrook scored for the Blackhawks with 6:02 left in regulation. Antoine Vermette would deliver the extra point for Chicago when he scored the lone goal of the shootout in the third round.

"I thought we battled all game long," Roy said.

Ben Scrivens put forth an outstanding effort in the loss, stopping 38 shots through regulation and overtime for the Oilers, who have scored only seven goals during their current 1-4-1 funk.

The Oilers, who fell to 8-16-9 as the visiting team with Friday's loss, will continue this swing Monday night in Detroit.

Carolina, which is well outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, has lost two straight in regulation after closing February on a three-game winning streak.

The Hurricanes opened a five-game homestand by losing 3-1 to Minnesota on Friday. The clubs were tied at 1-1 after two periods, but Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise scored in a span of less than two minutes early in the third to lift the Wild to victory.

Riley Nash provided the lone offense for the Hurricanes, scoring late in the second period. It was Nash's eighth goal of the season and first since Jan. 10.

"That felt good. It's been a long time," said Nash. "It was a nice pass from Skinny [Jeff Skinner] and a great play overall."

Anton Khudobin yielded three goals on 19 shots in defeat, as Carolina had a three-game home win streak halted. The Hurricanes are 14-12-3 as the host this season.

Cam Ward is expected to start tonight for Carolina and is 3-3-1 with a 2.87 goals against average in seven career starts versus the Oilers. Richard Bachman will start in net for Edmonton in his first career appearance against the 'Canes.