NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Carolina
(Wednesday, March 18th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, New Jersey 2
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Anton Babchuk scored a pair of goals as Carolina stormed past New Jersey, 4-2, on a night the Devils rested all-time wins leader Martin Brodeur.
"He's got a huge shot. When he's gotten a chance to step into it, he's been really good," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice of Babchuk, who recorded his 10th and 11th goals of the season and his first multi-goal contest of the year. "A lot of that is confidence. He's scored enough this year that he wants the puck. There's not a lot of guys who want to stand in front of him."
Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov registered a goal apiece for the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game slide and moved into a tie with idle Montreal for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
In his 19th consecutive start, Cam Ward was sharp with 41 saves, as Carolina won its season-high sixth straight home game.
Zach Parise and Brian Gionta tallied for the Devils, who saw their four-game win streak ended.
Kevin Weekes -- starting for the first time since February 19, and spelling Brodeur after he set the NHL record for goaltender wins with his 552nd on Tuesday -- took the loss after allowing four goals on 32 shots.
Babchuk converted a rebound off a scramble in front of the Devils' net for a power-play goal midway through the first period. Rod Brind'Amour had the first shot foiled by Weekes, then Samsonov shoveled the puck off the netminder before the third chance, from the offensive-minded defenseman went in.
Staal cashed in on another Carolina power play 1:25 into the second period, slapping a shot from a sharp angle to the right of Weekes.
Parise netted a 5-on-3 goal with 6:38 left in the second which halved New Jersey's deficit, but Babchuk restored the two-goal edge with 38 seconds to play on a power-play blast from the high slot.
Samsonov made it 4-1 for the Hurricanes with 7:46 left in regulation, streaking around Weekes at the top of the crease and scoring as he fell forward.
The Devils drew within two on a power play as Gionta managed to sneak a shot between Ward's pads with 2:17 left, but were not able to get any closer.
"We didn't do the right things in our own zone," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter. "You've always got your guard up coming after having what's happened to us this past week in such great ways. In the five-on-five we did a lot of great things and their goaltender was good for them tonight."
Carolina has won three straight meetings and both this season...The Hurricanes continue their three-game homestand on Friday against the Islanders, and the Devils host Minnesota that same day...Devils forward Jamie Langenbrunner's nine-game point streak came to an end...Carolina finished 3-for-5 with the extra man and New Jersey converted 2-of-6 chances.
03/18 23:08:34 ET