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Devils vs. Hurricanes in the regular season

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

The Devils split two games with Carolina at Prudential Center, where their first-round best-of-seven opens Wednesday. –
The Devils and Hurricanes met four times in the regular season, and Jersey's Team picked up its lone win versus Carolina in Saturday's season finale.

With their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal set to begin Wednesday, April 15, at Prudential Center, here's a snapshot of the Devils-Hurricanes regular season series:

Devils 2 @ Carolina 3 
Game highlights
January 6, 2009

Ray Whitney put the Hurricanes on top 1:03 into the game. Carolina built a 3-0 lead on Sergei Samsonov's power-play goal in the second period followed by Tuomo Ruutu's tally midway through the third.

The Devils rallied after head coach Brent Sutter pulled Scott Clemmensen on a power play with eight minutes remaining in regulation – and the move paid off. Patrik Elias threaded a cross-slot pass to Paul Martin, who beat Cam Ward from the left circle on the ensuing 6-on-4 to bring the Devils back within two.

With 6:26 left, Ward stopped Brian Gionta's turnaround shot on a New Jersey power play.

Elias made it a one-goal game through a goalmouth scramble with 21 seconds left and Clemmensen out of the net for a sixth attacker.

New Jersey went 1-for-2 on the PP, and stopped two of three on the PK. Shots were even at 28 apiece.

Devils 2 @ Carolina 4  Game Highlights
March 18, 2009

Special teams were pivotal in the Devils' second meeting with the Hurricanes. Five of six goals in the contest were scored on the power play, including each of the first four.

New Jersey was back in action one night after Martin Brodeur's record-setting 552nd win over Chicago at Prudential Center.

Anton Babchuk put home a loose puck on the power play to give Carolina a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. The Devils were outshot 18-9 in the opening frame.

Eric Staal's man-advantage goal made it 2-0 just 1:25 into the second period. He beat Kevin Weekes on a sharp-angle rebound from the bottom of the right circle 1:25 into the second.

Zach Parise responded on a two-man advantage, taking Elias' pass to score on Ward from the bottom of the right circle.

Babchuk's second power-play goal – a blast from the high slot – with 38 seconds left in the middle frame restored Carolina's two-goal lead.

New Jersey dominated the final 40 minutes of regulation, outshooting Carolina, 34-14, and finishing with a 43-32 shots advantage.

Samsonov made it 4-1 Hurricanes on a tic-tac-toe passing play with Rod Brind'Amour and Jussi Jokinen.

Brian Gionta capped the scoring on a power play with 2:17 remaining in regulation. Dainius Zubrus made a diving pokecheck against Brind'Amour in front of the Carolina cage, and Gionta swept in the loose puck.

The Devils were 2-for-6 on the PP, but allowed three goals in five chances on the PK.

Devils 1 vs. Carolina 2  Game Highlights
March 28, 2009

After losing at Chicago in overtime the night before, the Devils took an opening-period lead in their first Garden State meeting with the Hurricanes.

Elias took a Gionta pass on a Devils' 3-on-2, and beat Ward from the slot through John Madden with 1:51 left in the first frame. Parise had an opportunity to add insurance in the opening two minutes, then again midway through the second period, but Ward answered both times.

Brodeur, facing Carolina for the first time, delivered a highlight-reel, behind-the-back save on Whitney eight minutes into the second with the Devils on the PK. Moments later, he smothered Tim Conboy's shot from the top of the crease.

Brodeur carried a shutout until late in the third, when Carolina scored twice in a span of 3:21. The four-time Vezina Trophy winner made a career-high 46 saves as the Devils were outshot, 48-32.

Samsonov tied it on a rebound from the slot with seven minutes remaining, and Ruutu got the go-ahead tally on the power play with 3:34 on the clock. 

The Devils misfired on their only man advantage of the contest, while the PK foiled Carolina on three of four chances.

Devils 3 vs. Carolina 2  Game Highlights
April 11, 2009

In their regular-season finale, the Devils took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 courtesy of markers by David Clarkson and Parise.

Babchuk scored twice on power plays in the first and third to tie the contest at 2, but Zubrus got the go-ahead strike with 4:26 left in regulation.

Gionta set up his linemate from behind the net, sending a pass back against the grain to Zubrus near the right post. The 6-5 centerman snapped a one-timer shortside through Carolina backup Michael Leighton. New Jersey outshot Carolina, 35-25.

The Devils wrapped up 2008-09 with four wins in their final five games, sending the Hurricanes to back-to-back losses after a nine-game winning streak.

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