The Boston Bruins have won once in six games since beating the New Jersey Devils almost three weeks ago.
Armed with a sense of urgency, the Bruins might have a good opportunity to halt that slide by extending their road success and recording a fifth consecutive victory over the Devils on Friday night.
Boston (20-14-4) has gone 1-5-0 since a 2-1 shootout home victory over New Jersey on Dec. 20 gave it 11 wins in a 15-game stretch. Four of the most recent five defeats came in five games at home, including the Winter Classic in nearby Foxborough, leaving the Bruins at 9-11-2 on home ice.
They're allowing 3.05 goals per game at home compared to 2.31 on the road.
Boston begins a five-game Eastern Conference trip against the Devils (20-16-5), whom they've defeated in 16 of the last 19 meetings and seven of nine at New Jersey. The Bruins have allowed five goals during a four-game winning streak in the series.
"It is a big road trip coming up, and we have to approach it that way," coach Claude Julien told the Bruins' official website. "I'm hoping that our group here is going to be ready for that challenge.
"There's no reason for us to not have the confidence, with the record that we have on the road, and hopefully, we can have that and go out there and prove that we've still got a good road team."
Boston has been held to two or fewer goals five times in seven games and given up at least three goals in five straight. The Bruins hung tough against the East's top team Tuesday but dropped their second in a row, 3-2 against Washington.
"It's tough because we're so committed to winning and looking at results," defenseman Torey Krug said. "But at this point in the season, we've got to start fine-tuning our game and trying to come away with points because our standings are so tight.
"So we'll move on and we'll take the positives, whatever it is, and just carry it into the next one."
Tuukka Rask, who watched backup Jonas Gustavsson make 29 saves against the Devils last month, is expected to be back in net on the road where he's 7-2-2 with a 1.85 goals-against average.
Including a goal against the Devils, Loui Eriksson has three and six assists in nine games. He's recorded three goals and four assists in a five-game point streak at New Jersey.
The Devils have allowed seven goals in five contests, but they've managed one goal while losing two straight. Adam Henrique scored early in the third period Wednesday cut the deficit to one at Montreal, but New Jersey fell 2-1.
"We'll find a way to regroup and make sure we're prepared to play against Boston," coach John Hynes told the NHL's official website.
Hynes is uncertain if leading scorer Mike Cammalleri will miss a fourth straight game with an upper-body injury.
Cory Schneider, named an All-Star on Wednesday, has posted a 1.26 GAA in the last four games. He made 38 saves while dropping his fourth straight start to Boston last month.