GAME: New Jersey Devils (34-20-11-2) at Carolina Hurricanes (21-28-13-4).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
The New Jersey Devils made a trade Friday they hope will get them going in
the right direction.
Jan Hrdina is expected to be in the lineup when the struggling Devils meet
the Carolina Hurricanes in the finale of their five-game road trip.
New Jersey dealt winger Mike Rupp, who scored the winning goal in Game 7 of
last year's Stanley Cup finals against Anaheim, and a second-round pick in this
year's draft to Phoenix for veteran center Hrdina.
The Devils then went out and lost for the fourth time in five games, 3-2 in
overtime at Tampa Bay.
The Devils are hoping the 28-year-old Hrdina, who had 11 goals and 15
assists in 55 games for the Coyotes, has fully recovered from a broken toe that
slowed him early in the season.
Hrdina, who has 90 goals and 167 assists in 425 career games, could provide
an instant spark for the Devils, who are in danger of falling into seventh
place in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey sits just three points ahead of
hard-charging Montreal with 15 games to play.
New Jersey received a scare on Friday as right wing Brian Gionta was cut on
the side of his nose after being hit by a shot early in the second period. He
received stitches, but did not return. His status for Saturday is unknown.
Carolina kept its unlikely playoff hopes alive as Kevyn Adams's breakaway
goal with less than a second left in overtime gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 win at
Atlanta on Friday.
Rod Brind'Amour and Jeff O'Neill had goals in the second period for the
Hurricanes, who have not lost in regulation in their last five road games
"It's one of the most exciting regular season games I've ever been part
of," said Carolina goaltender Kevin Weekes, who had 32 saves.
The Hurricanes are 15 points behind the eighth-place New York Islanders for
the final playoff spot in the East, with 16 games to play.
STANDINGS: Devils - 81 points, 2nd place, 7 PB, Atlantic Division.
Hurricanes - 59 points, 4th place, 29 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Patrik Elias, 30 goals and 62 points; Scott Gomez, 42
assists; Colin White, 75 PIM. Hurricanes - Josef Vasicek, 16 goals; Justin
Williams, 24 assists; Josef Vasicek and Justin Williams, 34 points; Jesse
Boulerice, 106 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 4): Devils - Power play: 15.6 percent (38 for
243), 18th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (192 for 227), 12th.
Hurricanes - Power play: 11.6 percent (35 for 303), 30th in NHL. Penalty
killing: 81.9 percent (236 for 288), 24th.
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Martin Brodeur (31-20-10, 10 SO, 2.04 GAA); Scott
Clemmensen (1-1-0, 1, 1.53). Hurricanes - Weekes (20-24-10, 6, 2.23); Arturs
Irbe (1-0-1, 1.92).
SEASON SERIES: Devils, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 14; Devils, 4-1. At East Rutherford, N.J., Gomez and
Gionta set each other up for first-period goals, helping the Devils avoid their
first four-game losing streak since November 2001.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 16-9-7-1 on the road; Hurricanes - 11-13-8-2 at