NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Carolina
(Tuesday, January 6th)
Final Score: Carolina 3, New Jersey 2
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Cam Ward made 25 saves and Tuomo Ruutu netted the game-winner, as the Carolina Hurricanes fended off the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, at the RBC Center.
Ray Whitney and Sergei Samsonov also scored for the Hurricanes, who are riding a season-high four-game winning streak and have earned points in 12 of their last 15 outings (9-3-3).
"The first 20 (minutes) I thought were okay, nothing to have a parade over," said Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice. "The next 20 (minutes) were better. All of our best chances, most of our best chances, came in the third period."
Patrik Elias registered a goal and an assist for the Devils, who had won four of five coming in. Scott Clemmensen was beaten three times on 28 shots.
Ruutu made it a three-goal game at 9:58 of the third period. On a perfectly executed 3-on-2 break, Eric Staal carried the puck across the New Jersey blue line and handed off to Anton Babchuk, flying down the right wing. Babchuk faked a shot and sent a cross-ice feed to Ruutu, who delayed before snapping a shot through traffic and between the legs of Clemmensen.
Paul Martin put the Devils on the board with 7:48 left in the game. While on the power play, New Jersey rolled the dice and pulled Clemmensen for an extra skater, creating a 6-on-4 advantage, and the gamble paid off. Martin accepted Elias's feed and fired a wrister that beat Ward on the stick side.
Elias cut the deficit to one with Clemmensen on the bench again and 21.5 seconds remaining, but a pair of icing calls squashed any chance of a completing the comeback.
"We didn't respond the way we needed to tonight," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter. "It wasn't really an option; we never really got anything going offensively for much of the night. So we pulled the goalie with whatever it was, then we had to try to get desperate. You know it's one of those games where you get down early and never can recover from it."
Whitney gave Carolina a 1-0 lead just 63 seconds into the contest. On a simple dump-in, Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador had the puck hop over his stick. Hurricanes veteran forward and captain Rod Brind'Amour corralled the loose disc, circled behind the cage and dished to the low slot for Whitney, who slid between two Devils and lifted a shot over Clemmensen's glove.
The 1998 Calder Trophy winner as the league's top rookie, Samsonov added a power-play goal with 4:45 remaining in the second period. The diminutive left winger threw the puck blindly on net and it caromed off the right skate of Martin and went behind Clemmensen for his 200th career marker.
New Jersey defenseman Colin White missed his fifth straight game with an upper body injury...Tuesday's contest marked the first game for Hurricanes rookie center Brandon Sutter against his father, Brent...The Devils went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Carolina finished 1-for-3.
01/06 22:54:36 ET