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Devils-Hurricanes Preview @NHLdotcom
Devils-Hurricanes Preview

GAME: New Jersey Devils (14-12-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (20-9-2).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Carolina Hurricanes look to stay perfect on their five-game homestand when they play the New Jersey Devils at RBC Center.

Carolina has gained the maximum four points from its homestand thus far and posted a 2-1 victory Thursday over the Columbus Blue Jackets behind two second-period goals from Rod Brind'Amour.

After going 7-0 at RBC Center to start the season, the Hurricanes lost four of their next six at home. Carolina, which has won four of its last five games overall, also plays the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 20 and Florida Panthers on Dec. 23 to complete this homestand.

"It was kind of the example we saw out on the west coast," Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward said. "They really take advantage of being at home. That's how we have to approach it here."

Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said his team - narrowly ahead of Tampa Bay for the Southeast Division's top spot - needs to win all five games of the homestand.

"We've got to win them all," he said. "We have got a chance to really take advantage of the schedule here."

The Devils are 1-2-3 in their last six games and coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday to the Atlantia Thrashers. It was the fourth consecutive game to go into overtime for New Jersey, which has scored three goals or less in its last nine games.

The Devils were 0-for-7 on the power play, including one in overtime that might've been the difference.

"Our power play is just killing us," Devils coach Larry Robinson said. "We've considered everything, but the bottom line is if you don't shoot the puck on the power play it doesn't matter."

STANDINGS: Devils - 33 points, 3rd place, 11 PB, Atlantic Division. Hurricanes - 42 points, 1st place, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Brian Gionta, 18 goals and 32 points; Scott Gomez, 15 assists; Jamie Langenbrunner, 34 PIM. Hurricanes - Eric Staal, 21 goals, 21 assists and 42 points; Mike Commodore, 59 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Devils - Power play: 16.1 percent (30 for 186), 18th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.3 percent (126 for 153), 17th. Hurricanes - Power play: 18.6 percent (36 for 193), 10th (tied). Penalty killing: 79.1 percent (137 for 173), 27th.

GOALTENDERS: Devils - Martin Brodeur (12-9-3, 0 SO, 2.96 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (2-3-2, 0, 3.54). Hurricanes - Martin Gerber (14-6-1, 2, 2.55); Kevin Nastiuk (1-5-2, 0, 3.27).

SEASON SERIES: Hurricanes, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 15, 2005; Hurricanes, 6-1. At East Rutherford, N.J., Radim Vrbata, Erik Cole and Matt Cullen scored in an 11:24 span of the first period, and Cam Ward made 27 saves for the win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 5-7-2 on the road; Hurricanes - 11-4-0 at home.

Associated Press

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