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Hurricanes host Stars with both teams searching for identities

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two NHL teams -- Carolina and Dallas -- still tinkering offensively will square off Monday night at PNC Arena.

The Dallas Stars, using a break in the schedule this past week to log some much-needed practice time, switched up their line combinations prior to a 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday.

Coach Ken Hitchcock said a pair of lopsided losses within a four-day span to the Winnipeg Jets made the decision easy to separate his top scoring duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin -- each of whom have eight goals and 16 points.

"What happens is when you have one line that is doing everything the tendency is to let it do everything, and that's the feeling I had that was happening on our hockey club," Hitchcock said. "We were just allowing that one line to save the day and in the end ... the two games against Winnipeg were a wakeup call for me. We do need way more (offensive) participation if we are going to beat good teams because they have two and in some cases three lines that score. We just needed more people involved.

"The other thing for me with Benn and Seguin is a next level of leadership; they've got to take on the responsibility of helping other people," the coach added. "They did that against the Islanders."

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes, with just a 2-2-3 home record this season, continue to struggle on the power play, dropping to 29th in the league. Carolina had an opportunity to put Chicago away in the third period Saturday night, but failed to score yet again with the man advantage and ended up blowing a two-goal lead in a 4-3 overtime loss.

Carolina ended up 0-for-3 on the power play against the Blackhawks, managing just one shot on goal. The Hurricanes have gone five straight games without a man-advantage goal and have tallied just one in 10 games.

"It has been a tough segment for the power play," said Carolina coach Bill Peters, whose team has just six power-play goals this season -- 30th in the league. "When you are not winning the special team battles it's hard."

Peters said he plans to consult with assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour, who runs the team's power play, and see what changes can be made prior to the Monday night game with the Stars.

"I think we have to make some personnel changes, that would be my opinion, my two cents," Peters said.

"The power play has been struggling, but we've got to find a way to turn that around because it is costing us in situations where we need a jump and we're not getting it," said Jeff Skinner, Carolina's top goal scorer.

Dallas, first in the NHL on the power play, jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the Hurricanes three weeks ago at home before holding on for a 4-3 victory, extending its win streak over Carolina to six straight dating to March 2015.

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