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Devils aim to avenge loss to Hurricanes

by Mike G. Morreale

DEVILS (9-11-5) at HURRICANES (10-10-5)


Last 10: New Jersey 5-4-1; Carolina 5-3-2

Season series: This will be the second meeting in three days for the Metropolitan Division foes. The Carolina Hurricanes earned a 4-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday at Prudential Center. The teams won't see each other again until March 8 in New Jersey.

Big story: Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has suffered three straight losses, yielding nine goals. Cory Schneider on Wednesday expressed his desire to return to goal after not playing since beating the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 21 with 34 saves. He might get that chance in the return match with the Hurricanes. Schneider is 1-1-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average against Carolina. For the season, he is 2-5-3 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

"I'm trying to work hard and do what I can, but I'd just like to see the ice a little bit more is all," Schneider said. "Marty is playing really well. He's got the net and he's running with it. I know it's part of the game … it's just something where I just want to play more."

Team Scope:

Devils: New Jersey did score three goals in a game for the first time since Nov. 20, but it wasn't enough to secure a victory. Jaromir Jagr scored the 691st goal of his NHL career, enabling him to pass Mario Lemieux (690) for ninth place on the NHL's goal-scoring list. He is now one goal behind Steve Yzerman (692) for eighth place and three behind Mark Messier (694) for seventh.

"That's great," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said of Jagr. "He's been a bright spot all year and has received personal records and accolades, but I know he's more concerned about the wins. It's a great accomplishment for a great player and a great guy."

Hurricanes: The Hurricanes have strung together two straight wins behind the goaltending of Cam Ward, who has yielded four goals on 55 shots over that stretch. Ward, in his fourth start (2-1-1) since returning from a lower-body injury Nov. 18, finished with 19 saves against the Devils on Wednesday. His finest stop at 17:37 of the third period came with his team holding a 4-2 lead. That's when New Jersey's Adam Henrique got free, but Ward sprawled to his left and snared the attempt with his glove.

"It was funny to see the reaction because I think everyone thought it went in, and quietly inside I knew it was in my glove," Ward said.

Carolina again will be without forward Kevin Westgarth, who will serve the second of a two-game suspension issued by the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Tuesday.

Who's hot: Patrik Elias has points in three straight games (two goals, four points) for the Devils. … Hurricanes forward Patrick Dwyer has goals in three straight games, including two shorthanded goals.

Injury report: Forward Stephen Gionta (ankle) was placed on injured reserve, defensemen Anton Volchenkov (leg) and Adam Larsson (lower body) are questionable and forward Ryane Clowe (head) and defenseman Bryce Salvador (foot) are doubtful for the Devils. … The Hurricanes are without forward Alexander Semin (concussion) and goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body). Defenseman Tim Gleason (lower body) is questionable.

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