DEVILS (30-40-10) at HURRICANES (44-29-7)
7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-CR, TVAS, NHL.TV
The Carolina Hurricanes hope to clinch their first berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009 when they play the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena on Thursday.
The Hurricanes, who lead the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens by one point for the first wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, would clinch with a win and a Montreal loss of any kind at the Washington Capitals. Carolina also would secure a spot with a shootout win and a Montreal loss in regulation.
Goalie Petr Mrazek will start for the Hurricanes, who are 13-6-1 in the past 20 games. Mrazek is 11-3-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average, a .941 save percentage and three shutouts in his past 14 starts.
The Devils, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, are 3-1-1 in the past five games after going 2-9-1 in the previous 12.
Players to watch
Devils goalie Cory Schneider is 6-5-1 with a 1.92 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in 13 games against the Hurricanes.
Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho has five points, all assists, in his past 12 games after he had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his previous 13.
They said it
"This is one where we're going to take a lot of stock into it. You're playing against a team that is fighting for a wild-card spot. Let's see [how we play] tonight when there's no time and space, and you're playing a team that's dialed in and looking for the postseason. This is one of those games we can make a strong player evaluation." -- Devils coach John Hynes
"It's a big game obviously, but it's just another game where we have to do the right things. We've done the work as a coaching staff. You just kind of open the door and now it's up to them." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour
Devils projected lineup
Kenny Agostino -- Nico Hischier -- Blake Coleman
Miles Wood -- Travis Zajac -- Joey Anderson
Drew Stafford -- Pavel Zacha -- Michael McLeod
Stefan Noesen -- Kevin Rooney -- Nathan Bastian
Andy Greene -- Damon Severson
Mirco Mueller -- Connor Carrick
Will Butcher -- Steven Santini
Scratched: Egor Yakovlev
Injured: Jesper Bratt (lower body), Taylor Hall (lower body), Sami Vatanen (illness), Kurtis Gabriel (upper body), Kyle Palmieri (lower body)
Hurricanes projected lineup
Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams
Micheal Ferland -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov -- Lucas Wallmark -- Jordan Martinook
Brock McGinn -- Greg McKegg -- Warren Foegele
Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury -- Trevor van Riemsdyk
Scratched: Saku Maenalanen
Injured: Calvin de Haan (upper body)
Schneider is making his final start of the season. Blackwood will play in the season finale at the Florida Panthers on Saturday. … Mrazek is making consecutive starts after alternating with McElhinney for the past 11 games.
Zacha has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past seven games. Hischier has eight points (two goals, six assists) in six games against Carolina. Noesen has four goals in seven games against Carolina. ... Staal has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past 10 games. Ferland has not scored a goal in his past 15 games.