Sitting in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, the Carolina Hurricanes are playing competitively but have often come up short.
They'll host an Edmonton Oilers team on Wednesday night that's experienced similar results and is in seventh in the Pacific.
Carolina (7-10-4) has lost six of seven with four of those defeats coming in overtime or a shootout. Victor Rask and Brett Pesce scored in the third period Monday to force OT in Philadelphia but the Hurricanes lost 3-2 on a power-play goal just 24 seconds into the extra period.
"It shows a lot about our character. We didn't give up until the very end," Pesce told the team's official website after scoring the tying goal with 3:45 left in regulation. "We came out fired up and got rewarded with a point."
The result moved Carolina two points ahead of last-place Columbus in the Eastern Conference. One of the Hurricanes' two victories this month was a 4-3 win over Los Angeles on Sunday that snapped a four-game home losing streak and a five-game overall skid.
"We have three points in our last two games, which is obviously good for our confidence and momentum," Pesce said. "We played the best in the third period (against Philadelphia), and we can carry that into the next game."
Edmonton, last in the West, is 1-3-1 in its last five and its past three losses have been decided by one goal. The Oilers (7-13-1) outshot Washington 33-30 on Monday in a 1-0 loss, their third straight on the road.
On a relatively promising note, they have yielded one goal in each of their past two games after allowing a combined 19 in their previous five.
"I definitely think it's getting better," forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "I think once we can do it consistently then I think we'll be a lot more successful. We show it for a lot of periods and a lot of games but it's just about doing it consistently right from the get-go. That's when we'll start finding wins."
Neither team shined defensively in the most recent matchup March 8, and Carolina's 7-4 home win ended a three-game slide in the series. Elias Lindholm provided his only career hat trick and had two assists.
Nugent-Hopkins had his second hat trick and one assist, giving him six goals and two assists in five career games against Carolina.
Jordan Eberle had three goals and three assists in last season's two matchups. He had two goals and an assist in a 6-3 home win Oct. 24, 2014.
Carolina's Jeff Skinner totaled three goals in the two games, giving him six goals and three assists in six lifetime meetings.
The Hurricanes won't have Nathan Gerbe available for the next four to six weeks because of a lower-body injury suffered in the win against the Kings. Edmonton's Justin Schultz is close to returning from an ailing back but coach Todd McLellan indicated the defenseman would likely sit out Wednesday.
Schultz, who hasn't played since Oct. 25, could get back on the ice sometime during the Oilers' season-high five-game trip.