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
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
Scratched: Anton Volchenkov, Peter Harrold, Jacob Josefson