The Carolina Hurricanes didn't want to use travel as an excuse upon their return to North America. Fatigue could be a factor when they continue their road trip in a place where they have enjoyed little recent success.
The Hurricanes begin a stretch of three games in four nights Sunday when they try to win for the first time in five road games against the Vancouver Canucks.
Carolina (2-1-0) opened with two wins over Minnesota in Finland on Oct. 7-8 before beginning a five-game trip in North America with a 3-2 loss at Ottawa on Thursday.
"We've had time to adjust to the East Coast time zone again and had a couple of good practices before we headed out here to Ottawa," said goaltender Cam Ward, who made 36 saves. "I don't think you'll find anybody using that as an excuse."
The road trip does not get easier with the Hurricanes traveling to the West Coast to start this grueling stretch. Carolina faces 2009-10 playoff teams Vancouver (1-2-1), San Jose and Los Angeles in a four-day span and does not play its first home game until Oct. 27 against Washington.
The Hurricanes are 0-2-2 in four games at Vancouver since a 4-1 win Oct. 15, 1999, and 1-5-2 in their last eight at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver has won 12 of its last 13 at home against Eastern Conference foes, and should be motivated after another poor offensive effort in Friday's 4-1 loss at Los Angeles. Daniel Sedin extended his regular-season point streak to 14 games with his fourth goal of the season, but that was all the Canucks mustered.
"We played a decent team, but that's not enough," right wing Mikael Samuelsson said. "We can't fall behind and miss as many early chances as we did."
Vancouver led the West with 3.27 goals per game last season but has totaled seven goals in four games. Ryan Kesler has yet to register a point after finishing third on the team with 75 last season while linemates Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen are also pointless.
"Obviously right now a couple of our guys are trying real hard to get going and it's not going obviously the way that they'd like to," coach Alain Vigneault told the Canucks' official website.
Roberto Luongo made 15 saves Friday in his second straight regulation loss. He posted a 1.00 goals-against average in two home games before the two road defeats.
"We've got to focus on cleaning up our game," Luongo said. "It's not the way we want it, but it's early in the season."
The Hurricanes welcomed back Sergei Samsonov to the lineup Thursday after the left wing missed the first two games with a neck injury. Carolina is hoping to play with more energy after a lethargic effort in Ottawa.
"We just didn't have any jump so we left it to our goaltender to bail us out of some of the strange decisions that we made," coach Paul Maurice said. "He did so that's how you get a chance to win games when you're not good and we weren't very good."