March 16, 2015

Like the Carolina Hurricanes, the Ottawa Senators have struggled lately to cut their deficit in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Senators have found success in recent road games, but they haven't fared as well in most of their latest visits to Raleigh, a trend they'll try to change Tuesday night.

Ottawa (31-29-7) is 1-2-1 in four games this month after a 2-1 defeat to Dallas on Sunday, as they gave up the go-ahead goal with 2:14 left. Though the Senators are just six points out of the final East postseason spot, they'd have to jump past four teams to reach the playoffs.

"We'd be lying if we said we didn't watch the scoreboards,'' forward Zack Smith said. ''It doesn't change the way we're playing. If anything, it's a little motivation. It definitely makes (Sunday's) loss sting a bit more.''

Ottawa will try again to make up ground on a two-game trip through the Southeast. The Senators have won two straight and three of four on the road.

"We're going to get back to work. Every single game is important here," forward Ryan Dzingel said. "I think getting out of here and playing these two teams will be good for us. Hopefully, we can get two wins."

Ottawa, though, is 2-10-2 in its last 14 road matchups with Carolina (29-26-11) and lost 3-2 in overtime in its first visit this season Nov. 7. The Hurricanes' Jeff Skinner forced the extra period by scoring with 3.3 seconds left and Jordan Staal tallied the winning goal.

Staal also scored in a 4-2 loss at Ottawa on Feb. 18, and Carolina enters this matchup 1-3-1 in its last five after allowing Tampa Bay to rally for a 4-3 overtime win Saturday.

The Hurricanes allowed the tying goal with 6:18 remaining in regulation, failing to build on a 3-1 victory at New Jersey last Tuesday.

"It was good that we got one point but disappointing we couldn't get two," goaltender Eddie Lack told the team's official website. "We played a good game tonight but came up a little short."

Before heading out on a five-game trip, Carolina will try to avoid a third consecutive home loss.

Cam Ward has allowed 11 goals over three consecutive losses but has gone 6-0-1 with a 1.54 goals-against average in his last seven starts against Ottawa.

Senators No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson hasn't played since last Tuesday because of a lower-body injury but will travel with the team. Andrew Hammond, who's posted a 2.03 GAA in the past four games, is 1-0-1 with a 1.88 GAA in two lifetime starts against Carolina.

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