The Boston Bruins had plenty of scoring opportunities in their attempt to win consecutive games for the first time this month, but an inability to capitalize on them resulted in yet another defeat.
Caught in a tight playoff race, the Bruins could be in trouble again Friday night against Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils, whose recent hot streak has given them pause heading into the trade deadline.
Boston (29-22-9) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-2 win in Chicago on Sunday, but followed with a 2-1 loss to Vancouver on Tuesday.
It wasn't for a lack of chances. The Bruins scored 1:05 into the game and peppered the Canucks with 41 shots, but they went 0 for 4 on the power play.
"We started off pretty good there," Daniel Paille told the Bruins' official website. "We were able to capitalize on the first shift, but unfortunately, we couldn't get any more after that as a team. We had chances to take a couple-goal lead there, but we just didn't execute for most of the game."
Even with its six-goal performance Sunday, Boston ranks toward the bottom of the league with 2.40 goals per game in February. However, the Bruins sit among the NHL's best with an average of 32.4 shots on goal in that same span.
"I think that the only thing we talk about here is pretty simple: It's not the offense; it's the lack of finish," coach Claude Julien said.
New Jersey's stellar goaltending could keep the Bruins' slide going. Schneider has a 1.34 goals-against average in the Devils' last five games, but their four-game winning streak ended with Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Calgary.
Schneider allowed two or fewer goals for the 13th time in 14 appearances before the Flames added an empty netter. He owns a 1.78 GAA at home this season compared with 2.67 on the road.
"Sometimes you play well and lose," Schneider told the Devils' official website. "I know how much everyone wanted this game so it's tough. We just have to get up for Friday."
The Devils (25-27-9) are within eight points of Boston for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot, though there are three teams between them and the Bruins.
General manager Lou Lamoriello has made clear that he intends to pursue New Jersey's first playoff berth since 2011-12, but also admitted that certain moves could be made before Monday's trade deadline.
"We're dealing with lives," Lamoriello told the NHL's official website. "We're dealing with futures. We're dealing with everything. You can never lose sight of that no matter what you do. It's just unfortunate that different names appear in different places."
Jaromir Jagr has been a main topic of trade talks. The 43-year-old winger needs one goal to tie Phil Esposito for fifth all-time at 717, but he has not recorded a point in eight games - the longest drought of his career.
Jagr's playing time of 17:41 per game is his lowest since 2011-12.
"If I stay here and we're not going to have a chance to make the playoffs, I don't think I am going to play at all," Jagr said.
Jagr scored in New Jersey's 4-2 loss in Boston on Nov. 10 and had four of the Devils' 14 shots in a 3-0 loss at TD Garden on Jan. 8.
Tuukka Rask has a 1.51 GAA in nine career matchups with the Devils, his second-best mark against any team he's faced at least five times.