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Devils' Brodeur looking for third straight win

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is scheduled to earn his third start in five games when his team faces the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday at Prudential Center.

Brodeur, who is 15-11-4 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .899 save percentage this season, has won his past two starts. Brodeur is 38-16-6 with a 2.07 goals-against average and nine shutouts in 61 career games against the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller doesn't announce his starting goalie until after pregame warmups. Cam Ward (6-9-5, 3.23 GAA, .891 save percentage), who is 9-12-2 with a 2.83 GAA and .899 save percentage in 23 career matches against the Devils, is the expected starter. The veteran goalie last won a game on Dec. 31, a 5-4 overtime victory against the Montreal Canadiens. Anton Khudobin stopped a season-high 40 shots in a 4-2 loss against the New York Rangers on Friday.

Both teams are coming off disappointing losses Friday and are in dire need of points heading down the stretch. The Devils dropped a 7-4 decision to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Cory Schneider allowed a career-high seven goals in the match.

"You have a handful of games like that through the year where it's just not there," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "It's disappointing it's not there but for me, we've turned the page. We're looking at the opportunity [Saturday] to have another two-for-three week and keep ourselves in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs] mix."

The Devils, 3-2-0 since the League resumed play after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, are four points behind the Red Wings for the second of two wild-card playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.

"We have a guess on the number of points we need down the stretch," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "We had a number coming out of the Olympic break and we're on track to be right there. If we keep winning every two of three games we'll have a chance. When you look at our schedule, we have an ability to do that; our destiny is in our own hands. I have an idea of the number of points we need in my head, but I'm not going to tell you what it is."

With just one win in the past seven games, Carolina trails the Devils by four points in the East. The biggest disappointment of late has been the power-play, which has failed to score a goal in seven straight games (0-for-27).

The Canes went 0-for-4 in the loss against the Rangers and that included almost a minute of 5-on-3 time.

"You've got to execute," Muller said. "If we start to get individual and wanting to make your own plays, it doesn't work. You get outworked on it and you don't execute, the end result isn't there."

Carolina will be without defenseman John-Michael Liles, who sustained an upper-body injury against the Rangers. He will be replaced in the lineup by Mike Komisarek.

New Jersey has won seven of the last nine meetings against the Hurricanes at Prudential Center.

Here are the projected line combinations for the Hurricanes and Devils:


Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm

Jiri Tlusty - Jordan Staal - Alexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Andrei Loktionov - Manny Malhotra

Andrej Sekera - Mike Komisarek

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Jay Harrison - Ryan Murphy

Cam Ward

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Radek Dvorak

Injured: Justin Faulk (upper body), John-Michael Liles (upper body)


Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Damien Brunner

Ryane Clowe - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Tuomo Ruutu - Dainius Zubrus - Michael Ryder

Steve Bernier - Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta

Marek Zidlicky - Bryce Salvador

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill

Martin Brodeur

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Anton Volchenkov, Peter Harrold, Jacob Josefson

Injured: None.

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