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Preview: Hurricanes at Devils

Carolina five points out of second wild card in East; New Jersey goes for season sweep

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

HURRICANES (32-27-13) at DEVILS (27-34-12)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, FS-CR, NHL.TV


Hurricanes team scope

The Carolina Hurricanes, who end a four-game road trip, are five points behind the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 10 games remaining. The Hurricanes are 7-1-3 in their past 11 games. "We know where we're at in the standings and know what we have to do to keep pace," coach Bill Peters said. "We can't rely on anyone else doing us any favors. "We've done a good job balancing off four lines to give us enough energy to get through the marathon that is an 82-game regular season." Forward Elias Lindholm has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a nine-game point streak, the longest for a Carolina player this season. Since returning from an upper-body injury on Jan. 10, Lindholm has 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) in 32 games. Carolina is 22-5-5 when Lindholm has a point. "Everyone is contributing and we have some consistency in our game," forward Jeff Skinner said. "Every team goes through adversity but you have to find that chemistry throughout the season. As of late, we've been able to find that consistency night after night." Goaltender Eddie Lack, the first off the ice after the morning skate, is expected to start. He is 1-3-0 with a 3.09 goals-against average and .883 save percentage in four career games against the New Jersey Devils. Forward Lee Stempniak, who played 63 games with the Devils in 2015-16, needs two goals to reach 200 for his NHL career. Forward Derek Ryan was named the Masterton Trophy nominee for the Hurricanes.


Devils team scope

The Devils are 16 points behind the Islanders and Bruins for the second wild card into the playoffs from the East with nine games remaining. New Jersey is 2-11-2 in the past 15 games and has allowed 3.4 goals per game over that stretch. "Whether or not we're officially out of the playoffs is not something I spent time on thinking about," coach John Hynes said. "I think we know the situation we're in right now and that's not a focal point or something we're concerned about. Obviously we're not happy with it so let's not brush that under the carpet, but as far as a focal point we know where we're at." Goaltender Cory Schneider is expected to make his third start in the past four games. He is 6-3-1 with a 1.81 GAA and .939 save percentage in 11 games against the Hurricanes. The Devils, who have won all three games against Carolina this season, seek their first season sweep of the Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers since 1991-92 (3-0-0). Defenseman Andy Greene was named the Masterton Trophy nominee for the Devils.


Hurricanes projected lineup

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Sebastian Aho -- Elias Lindholm -- Phillip DiGiuseppe

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak

Joakim Nordstrom -- Victor Rask -- Patrick Brown

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin -- Justin Faulk    

Klas Dahlbeck -- Ryan Murphy

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: Matt Tennyson

Injured: Valentin Zykov (upper body), Jay McClement (lower body)


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Joseph Blandisi -- Adam Henrique -- Beau Bennett

John Quenneville -- Pavel Zacha -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

Jon Merrill -- Steven Santini

John Moore -- Damon Severson

Dalton Prout

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Blake Pietila

Injured: Jacob Josefson (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)


Status report

Peters said Zykov, who will miss his eighth straight game, is getting closer to a return. ... Hynes said he will determine after pregame warmups if he will go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, or 12 forwards and six defensemen. ... Devils forward Nick Lappin was assigned to Albany of the American Hockey League on Friday. ... Cammalleri and Josefson each participated in the Devils morning skate, but will not play There is no timetable for either of them to return.


Who's hot

Skinner has eight points (six goals, two assists) in a five-game point streak. ... Aho has six points (one goal, five assists) in a five-game point streak. ... Palmieri has 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in his past 15 games. ... Hall has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past seven games.

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