NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 3rd (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (37-11-4) at New Jersey Devils (27-20-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will honor former captain Scott Stevens tonight before hosting the NHL-leading Carolina Hurricanes at Continental Airlines Arena.
Stevens, who anchored the Devils to a trio of Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, 2003), retired before training camp last year after missing much of the 2003-04 season with a head injury. He will become the first player in Devils history to have his number retired when his No. 4 is lifted to the rafters.
Stevens spent 13 of his 22 NHL seasons with the Devils, after playing with Washington and St. Louis. He landed in East Rutherford in 1991, when he was awarded to the Devils by an arbitrator as compensation for the Blues' signing of Brendan Shanahan.
The future Hall of Famer finished his career as the NHL's all-time leader in games played among defensemen. He appeared in 233 playoff games, which is also the standard for NHL blueliners. Stevens never won a Norris Trophy, but he was given the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2000 as MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The current Devils ended a two-game losing streak on Wednesday, as Zach Parise, Grant Marshall and Sergei Brylin tallied a goal and an assist each to lead a 5-3 home win over visiting Ottawa.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Erik Rasmussen also scored a goal apiece and Martin Brodeur made 27 saves for New Jersey.
The Devils had been shut out in the previous two games, road losses to Tampa Bay and Florida.
New Jersey, which is 16-7-3 on home ice, will visit Toronto on Saturday.
Carolina, meanwhile, has won five straight games. On Tuesday, Erik Cole registered his third career hat trick and Eric Staal added two goals and an assist as the Hurricanes pounded the Montreal Canadiens, 8-2, at Bell Centre.
Kevyn Adams, Craig Adams and Niklas Nordgren also scored goals and Martin Gerber made 32 saves for the Hurricanes, who have won 14 of their last 15 contests overall.
The Hurricanes, with 78 points, lead the NHL's overall standings by three over West-leading Detroit. Carolina is 18 points ahead of second-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division race.
Carolina, which is 14-7-3 on the road, opened a four-game trip on Tuesday and will visit Boston on Sunday.
The Canes are 2-0 against the Devils this season, having outscored Jersey by a combined 10-2 margin.
02/03 10:24:22 ET