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NHL Game Summary - Carolina at New Jersey



(Saturday, March 28th)

Final Score: Carolina 2, New Jersey 1

Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu both scored in a 3:21 span in the third period, as the Carolina Hurricanes continued their hot play with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

With the win, Carolina retakes the fifth position it held at the beginning of the day. With 91 points, the Hurricanes are now one point ahead of Pittsburgh for fifth and one behind Philadelphia for fourth. Both the Pens and the Flyers won on Saturday. Carolina has only five games remaining, however, which is the least of any Eastern Conference team.

The Hurricanes, who have now won a season-high six straight, got 31 saves from Cam Ward in the win. The team also snapped New Jersey's franchise-record 11- game home win streak.

"It's important that we bear down this last five (games)," Ward said. "We haven't done anything yet, (but) we've definitely set ourselves up for some success and hopefully getting into the playoffs. By no means have we clinched; we need to continue to fight these last five games."

In another milestone, the Carolina franchise won the outright season series from New Jersey for the first time since 1990-91, when the then-Hartford Whalers won two of three from the Devils.

Patrik Elias scored the Devils' lone goal, but New Jersey lost its fourth straight game and its fifth in six contests. Martin Brodeur made 46 saves in a spectacular effort, but the team stands only six points ahead of the second- place Flyers in the Atlantic Division with seven games remaining.

"We made a couple mistakes that ended up in our net," Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "We're not sharp. We're giving up too many shots and taking too many penalties, and it's catching up with us."

Down a goal in the third, the Hurricanes finally tied the game late in regulation. Joe Corvo took a slapshot from the right point, and Brodeur made the save; however, the puck bounced out in front, where Samsonov was there to stuff it home with 6:55 on the clock.

Carolina forged ahead only 3:21 later on the power play. With Paul Martin off for hooking, Staal got the puck as it was cycled around and put it on net. As the puck was jammed at by several players, the puck popped out in front, where Ruutu was there to deposit it into the net with 3:34 to play.

New Jersey pulled Brodeur in the final minutes, but it wasn't enough, as the Hurricanes were able to steal the victory.

The Devils scored the game's first goal late in the opening period. Working on a 3-on-2 odd-man rush, Brian Gionta took it into the offensive zone and dropped the puck to Elias, who was waiting in the slot. Elias ripped a wrist shot past Ward through several players at 18:09.

Carolina pummeled Brodeur with 18 shots in the second period, but hockey's all-time wins leader was up to the task, turning each shot away.

Game Notes

The last time Carolina won six in a row in a single season, the team went on to win the Stanley Cup (2005-06)...The Hurricanes will play the next four games at home before closing out the season in New Jersey.

03/29 00:01:16 ET


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