Something has to give as Hurricanes host Canucks
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes could be headed toward the desperate category.
The Vancouver Canucks have already been in that situation.
The teams meet Friday night at PNC Arena, with one of the clubs guaranteed to snap a winless stretch.
The Canucks lost their third game in a row Thursday night at Tampa Bay. Vancouver has suffered three consecutive losses in regulation for only the second time this season.
"It's just a lot of little things that we need to work on," Canucks center Henrik Sedin said.
The Hurricanes are grasping for positives as they are 2-2-1 through five games of a season-long eight-game homestand. They've lost the last three games, including Tuesday night's 2-1 overtime decision to the Philadelphia Flyers, who are one of the teams that Carolina is contending with for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
"It's something we can build on," Carolina center Jordan Staal said of securing a team point. "We're going to work. Try to get out of this."
The Hurricanes have scored a total of seven goals across the past five games since the All-Star break.
"We talked about, we've got to score goals," Staal said. "There hasn't been enough."
Indeed, the offense has dried up for Carolina.
"It's not going in right now for us," coach Bill Peters said.
So it might not be a good thing for the Hurricanes that their next game comes against Vancouver, which won an early December meeting 3-0 at home. Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom needed 30 saves for his only career shutout.
Tuesday night's game was the first time in the last 15 contests that a Carolina game was extended beyond regulation.
Peters bashed the Hurricanes after their loss to San Jose on Sunday. He had a much more positive tone regarding the most-recent game.
"I was happy with the effort," Peters said. "Not in love with the result."
Peters said he'll go with Scott Darling as the starting goalie in the Vancouver game. It will be only the second appearance in an eight-game span for Darling, who began the season as the team's No. 1 goaltender.
The Canucks are hoping to receive a boost with the addition of forward Darren Archibald, who's expected to join the team in Raleigh.
"He's a big strong guy and he's physical," Vancouver coach Travis Green said. "... He has come a long way the last few years. He almost made the team out of camp. He's going to get a chance up here during the regular season."
Archibald, 27, had been playing with the American Hockey League's Utica Comets. He has played 16 career NHL games, all with the Canucks in the 2013-14 season.
"He's another guy who's a big body," Green said. "When he's not skating well, he's not as effective. I think he has just matured over the years and understands himself and the game. ... He still has a lot to prove."
Vancouver has scored five goals total in the past three games. This will be the third stop on its four-game road trip.
Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin is set to play his 200th NHL game -- all with Carolina -- on Friday.
Updated February 9, 2018