Pavel Bure returned to the Florida Panthers but failed to revive their struggling offence.
An ineffective Bure registered just three shots as the Panthers suffered a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena on Wednesday.
Bure had missed the Panthers' previous seven games with a concussion.
The Panthers won just twice in that time and managed just eight goals in their last six contests.
Bates Battaglia had two goals and an assist and Tom Barrasso made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who have now won three straight since rumours began spreading that their coach would be fired.
"A tough stretch gives you an opportunity to do one of two things: either completely disintegrate as a team or come out of it closer together," coach Paul Maurice said.
"I believe right now we're quite a bit closer as a team than we were."
Jason Weimer spoiled Barrasso's shutout bid early in the third period.
Martin Gelinas and Erik Cole also scored for Carolina.
The Panthers replaced starting goaltender Roberto Luongo six minutes into the second period after he allowed four goals on nine shots.
Trevor Kidd came on and finished with eight saves.