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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, February 9th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (27-26-4) at New Jersey Devils (30-21-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to extend their lead for first place in the Southeast Division tonight when they battle the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

The Hurricanes jumped past the Capitals in the standings last night after a 2-1 victory over Washington. Cam Ward made 33 stops to post his 22nd win of the season and lead Carolina to victory.

The Hurricanes now have 58 points to lead the Capitals by one in the standings. Carolina can extend that edge tonight because Washington is idle.

Erik Cole and Andrew Ladd scored for the Hurricanes, who snapped a two-game slide with the win. Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour picked up an assist on Ladd's goal, and has recorded a point in nine of his last 11 games (4 goals, 9 assists).

Brind'Amour, who is tied with Matt Cullen for the team lead in assists with 30, has 27 goals and 34 assists in 78 career games versus the Devils.

Cullen, though, is one of a hand full of Hurricanes battling injury right now. He is out with blurred vision, while Chad LaRose (broken left leg) and Dennis Seidenberg (ankle) are also out.

David Tanabe (concussion) and Justin Williams (torn left ACL) are on injured reserve.

Carolina's win last night was its first on a current five-game road trip (1-2-0) that concludes on Tuesday in Boston. The Hurricanes have lost four of their last six as the visiting club and are 14-15-2 as the road team this year.

New Jersey, on the other hand, missed an opportunity to take over first place in the Atlantic Division last night. The Devils hosted the Ducks and were one point back of idle co-leaders Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but lost to Anaheim, 2-1.

The Ducks won at New Jersey for the first time since February 11, 1996.

Jay Pandolfo scored for the Devils, who have dropped two straight and five of seven overall. Martin Brodeur, making his 14th straight start, stopped 22- of-24 shots in defeat.

Brodeur has been solid in his career versus Carolina, going 29-12-0 with five ties in 46 starts against them with a 2.10 goals-against average.

Last night's loss came in the opener of a four-game homestand for New Jersey, which is 16-11-0 at home this year. The Devils will also host Ottawa and Atlanta on the stand.

New Jersey captured a 4-1 victory when the clubs met in Carolina on January 10 for the first time this year, giving the Devils a win in six of seven and eight of their last 11 matchups against the Hurricanes.

Carolina has also lost three of five and four of its last seven in New Jersey, though the club will be making its first-ever trip to the new Prudential Center.

02/09 10:56:38 ET

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