If not for the hapless Capitals and Penguins, the Carolina Hurricanes would again be wallowing at the bottom of the NHL standings.
The Hurricanes (5-9-7) have 17 points and are just three ahead of Washington and Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite fewer major injuries so far, some positive offseason moves to bolster the defense and infuse the lineup with some youth, the Hurricanes look more often like last season's worst NHL club instead of the 2002 Stanley Cup finalists.
The main reason is Carolina's inability to win on the road. The Hurricanes are 1-6-3 away from the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. Carolina carries a five-game road losing streak into Wednesday night's game at the New York Islanders. The 'Canes have been outscored 26-6 in those five games.
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