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Devils-Hurricanes Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes.

PLAYOFF SERIES: Eastern Conference semifinals; Hurricanes lead 3-1.

TIME: Sunday, 7 p.m. EDT.

The Carolina Hurricanes will not have long to dwell on an emabarrassing road playoff loss. The New Jersey Devils will not have time to savor a season-saving win.

Now back home, Carolina will again try to close out New Jersey and advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in four seasons Sunday when the teams meet in Game 5 at the RBC Center.

Carolina could have ended this series and handed the Devils their first playoff series sweep, but fell 5-1 on Saturday. The Hurricanes had outscored New Jersey 12-4 in the first three games.

"We're still OK," said Hurricanes defenseman and former Devil Mike Commodore. "It would have been nice to close it out. But we know it wasn't going to be given to us. We have to go out and take it. It's not going to be handed to us on a silver platter by New Jersey."

Goaltender Cam Ward gave up three first-period goals, two on the power play to Scott Gomez, and was replaced by Martin Gerber - who had a career-high 38 wins in the regular season - after allowing Sergei Brylin's tally 44 seconds into the second period.

Ward had won seven playoff straight games with a shutout and 1.26 goals-against average before Saturday's contest. But Carolina coach Peter Laviolette did not make it immediately known who will start in net for Sunday's contest.

"We'll talk," Laviolette said of Ward. "We'll have a conversation on the plane. This is a strong kid. I've said all along he's on an even keel. It's always the same for him."

Gerber, who has yet to start against the Devils in this series, was 1-0-1 with a 2.51 GAA and .902 save percentage against them in the regular season.

Martin Brodeur allowed only Mark Recchi's goal midway through the second period, and finished with 19 saves.

"We have to have the attitude that nothing is going to faze us," he said. "That's how you get in people's heads, when you have success and don't seem happy about it. For us, there is never satisfaction until the end prize is there."

Only two teams have rallied from an 0-3 deficit to win, and New Jersey has lost five of its last seven games - including three playoff games - at the RBC Center.

Should the Devils win, Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday in East Rutherford, N.J.

"We don't really have time to enjoy this," said Gomez. "The common goal is we want to come back to Jersey. That's where we're going to start. We want to get another game here, and it just keeps getting harder."

Should the Hurricanes win, they would face the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference finals

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Hurricanes - 2nd seed; beat Montreal Canadiens 4-2, East quarterfinals. Devils - 3rd seed; beat New York Rangers 4-0, East quarterfinals.

PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Hurricanes - Rod Brind'Amour, 6 goals; Eric Staal, 10 assists and 14 points; Commodore, 21 PIM. Devils - Patrik Elias, 6 goals and 16 points; Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner, 10 assists; Cam Janssen, 26 PIM.

PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Hurricanes - Power play: 26.9 percent (14 for 52). Penalty killing: 83 percent (44 for 53). Devils - Power play: 20.8 percent (11 for 53). Penalty killing: 76.7 percent (33 for 43).

GOALTENDERS: Hurricanes - Ward (7-2, 1 SO, 1.86 GAA); Gerber (0-1, 5.26). Devils - Brodeur (5-3, 1, 2.15); Scott Clemmensen (0-0, 0.00).

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