The Carolina Hurricanes have a pattern of playing with an almost desperate nature that has resulted in success in road games.
They’ll encounter a team Saturday night that is bound to be displaying a form of desperation when they take on the host Edmonton Oilers.
“You just need to find a way to get it done and get a win any way you can,” Oilers standout Connor McDavid said. “That sense of urgency needs to go up, and we have to find a way to get a win.”
The Oilers have lost four straight games, including the past three at home. This is the fourth game in a six-game homestand.
“We have to continue to pound away at it,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “You can’t let the frustrations get you. We’re not feeling good about losing. We expect more than that.”
The Hurricanes have been on a roll on the road, winning twice this week. They’ve collected victories in seven of their last 10 road games (7-2-1), including a 2-1 overtime decision Thursday at Calgary.
“It’s fun to go out there, especially when you’re winning,” Hurricanes forward Martin Necas said.
This game in Edmonton marks the midway point of Carolina’s five-game road trip.
Edmonton’s latest setback came in Thursday night’s 3-2 result against the Boston Bruins.
“There are things that we’re doing that are giving ourselves a chance to win,” Tippett said. “When you don’t win, you have to go deeper. There are some plays that have to get made. There are some plays that are difference-maker plays that aren’t getting made right now.”
Tippett said the Oilers haven’t been rewarded for some of the work they’ve put in, but that simply means more must be done.
“I don’t mind where our forward lines are at right now,” Tippett said. “There are parts in our game that are in place with the way we want to play.”
Yet the Oilers realize that NHL results don’t always reflect the level of play.
“We’ve won games, too, that we’ve got outplayed,” Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl said. “That’s the way it goes. When you’re slumping, you find a way to lose these types of games.”
Oilers forward Warren Foegele will be playing against his former team. Carolina received defenseman Ethan Bear in return in the trade for Foegele. Bear sat out Thursday night’s game because of illness, so his availability will be in question going into this matchup.
Edmonton has concerns regarding defenseman Kris Russell, who left the Boston game with an apparent upper-body injury and was placed on injured reserve Friday.
“I got a feeling he might miss some time,” Tippett said.
Carolina remains without defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce. They’re out of the COVID protocol, but Canada requires a 14-day quarantine following a positive test, so they can’t rejoin the Hurricanes until next week’s game at Minnesota.
Part of the fallout is a heavy workload load for defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who logged more than 32 minutes Thursday.
“This is just kind of icing on the cake that he can do this,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, it’s not something we want to do, but we’re missing some great players.”
–Field Level Media