January 15, 2015

The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the Vancouver Canucks last week. They haven't been beaten since and they're mighty happy about that.

Seeking their longest winning streak in two years, the Hurricanes will have to beat the Canucks for the first time in six tries Friday night if they're to achieve that.

Carolina (20-18-7) has been outscored 15-5 while losing five straight meetings with Vancouver, falling 3-2 after giving up a goal to Bo Horvat with 1:06 left in regulation on Jan. 6.

The Hurricanes have responded with a season-high four-game winning streak, their longest run since capturing five in a row Dec. 31, 2013-Jan. 9, 2014.

They scored three times in the third period in Thursday's 4-1 victory at St. Louis.

"It's been a good feeling I think in the locker room," left wing Jeff Skinner said. "Everyone likes to win. I think guys have come together over the last little while. We've been playing some pretty good hockey as of late. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Skinner scored one goal and set up another against the Blues, giving him a team-leading 17 goals, just one shy of his total from all of last season. He has just one assist in six career meetings with the Canucks, all ending in losses.

Carolina is likely to have Cam Ward in net after Eddie Lack made 23 saves Thursday. Ward has won three straight starts with a 1.94 goals-against average, but is 1-5-0 with a 3.74 GAA in his last six against Vancouver.

Slow starts have been a problem for the Canucks (17-17-10), who have allowed the first goal in eight straight games. They have managed a 4-3-1 record in that span but surrendered the first three in a 4-1 loss at Washington on Thursday in the opener of this six-game trip.

"We should've come out and scored more goals in the first period and get out to a lead because it's tough playing catch-up with those guys," Horvat said.

Horvat has four goals and three assists during a five-game point streak. He scored twice against the Hurricanes last week, but all six of his goals on the season have come at home.

Radim Vrbata ended a 10-game goal drought Thursday with his 11th of the season. He's failed to score in 10 career matchups with Carolina.

Ryan Miller is likely to return to the bench after making 36 saves against the Capitals after sitting out eight games with a groin strain. Miller, though, has won three straight games against the Hurricanes behind a 1.00 GAA and one shutout.

If Miller sits, Jacob Markstrom would get the call. He's compiled a 2.13 GAA while going 3-1-1 in his last five games, including a 26-save effort against Carolina.

Vancouver's Daniel Sedin failed to score Thursday and remains on 346 career goals, tying him with Markus Naslund for the franchise lead. Sedin has gone nine straight games against the Hurricanes without a goal.

Carolina should have Nathan Gerbe available after activating the forward off injured reserve earlier Friday. Gerbe has missed 25 games since injuring his ankle on Nov. 22 in a win over Los Angeles. He has one goal and two assists in 20 games this season.

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