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Sharks, Hurricanes feeling the power

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Teams that have been largely efficient in power-play production during the past few weeks will meet Sunday afternoon at PNC Arena.

The San Jose Sharks keep cranking out power-play goals and they've set a standard recently in that department. The Carolina Hurricanes aren't far behind.

So even though the Hurricanes failed to notch what would have been a crucial goal on the power play in the third period Friday night against the Detroit Red Wings, there's no reason to alter the strategy at this stage.

"I don't think we're going to change much," Carolina captain Jordan Staal said.

These teams are the two best in power-play production across the NHL during the past 15 games. San Jose has 14 goals and Carolina has 13 goals on power plays during that span.

The Sharks rediscovered what works on their power plays by scoring twice on the man advantage in winning 3-1 at Columbus on Friday night.

The importance of the power play can't be understated by Sharks coach Peter DeBoer.

"We have a lot of options there, a lot of guys are comfortable on the power play," DeBoer said. "They're zipping around with a lot of confidence."

Carolina's penalty-killing units were 3-for-3 despite the 4-1 loss Friday night to Detroit. However, one of the Red Wings' goals came just after a power play expired.

The Hurricanes were baffled by their performance in general after they've clawed their way into playoff contention.

"We were second to a lot of the battles," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "We haven't been playing fast enough. It's just execution more than anything."

The Sharks need to be more opportunistic in full-strength situations. They can't always rely on power-play offense.

"We've got to get the puck in their end and play that way," DeBoer said. "When we're on our toes and playing in the other team's end, the rest of the stuff kind of falls in place."

With a few exceptions, goals have generally been tough to come by for the Hurricanes. That means that the Sharks might be if in a low-scoring game if the Hurricanes control the pace.

"We have to be prepared for those type of (low-scoring games)," DeBoer said.

Yet offense wasn't scarce when the Sharks defeated visiting Carolina 5-4 in overtime Dec. 7.

Carolina is bound to turn to goalie Cam Ward, who has won in his two outings since the All-Star break. The Hurricanes used Scott Darling in Friday night's game, which came on the back end of games on consecutive days.

San Jose's Logan Couture, who scored in the Columbus game, left in the third period after he appeared to be struck in the face by the puck. His status was unclear.

The Hurricanes have gone 2-1 in the first three games of a season-long eight-game homestand. By losing Friday, they failed to match their season-best winning streak of four games.

"There's a lot of games and we can't let any of them slip," Staal said.

Teuvo Teravainen registered his 28th assist on Carolina's lone goal Friday night, setting a career high in that category.
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