NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 9th (All times Eastern)
New Jersey Devils (11-8-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (13-9-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils avoided matching their longest losing streak in 27 years in their last trip to the ice.
The Devils hope to stay on the right track Saturday night when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
New Jersey had lost six straight (0-5-1) before rallying for a shootout win Thursday against visiting Buffalo. Patrik Elias tied the game late in regulation and also scored in the shootout, as the Devils posted a 3-2 come- from-behind win over the Sabres.
Brian Flynn's first NHL goal gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead midway through the third period. New Jersey fought back, however, and pulled even just as goaltender Johan Hedberg went to the bench for an extra skater. Buffalo's Jhonas Enroth kicked out David Clarkson's long shot, but Elias buried the rebound with 1:06 remaining.
Enroth, making his first start since Feb. 5, was injured on the tying goal, leading Ryan Miller to take over between the pipes. Clarkson beat him with a backhander to begin the second round of the shootout. After Buffalo captain Jason Pominville missed the net, Elias sealed it with a great deke to the forehand.
Hedberg made 23 saves to end a personal 0-6-1 stretch.
"The guys kept battling. We didn't panic," Devils forward Adam Henrique said.
With the win, the Devils avoided their first seven-game slide since Jan. 24- Feb. 8, 1986. On Saturday, New Jersey will try to post consecutive victories for the first time since the end of a five-game winning streak that lasted from Feb. 3-10.
New Jersey also can end another losing streak on Saturday, as the club has lost four straight on the road, dropping it to 4-5-3 as the guest in 2013.
The Hurricanes will try to rebound Saturday after having a four-game win streak halted by Montreal. Lars Eller tallied the go-ahead goal in the third period and P.K. Subban added insurance in the Canadiens' 4-2 road win on Thursday.
Jordan Staal and Drayson Bowman potted goals in the loss, while Justin Peters gave up four goals on 28 shots in the loss
"We couldn't get a bounce or break," Eric Staal said. "The effort was there."
Carolina is completing a three-game homestand on Saturday and is 6-5-0 as the host this season.
The Hurricanes are dealing with several injuries at the moment, although none is bigger than the loss of goaltender Cam Ward, who went down earlier this month with a sprained MCL that is expected to sideline him for 6-to-8 weeks.
Dan Ellis, who is expected to be Carolina's No. 1 goalie in Ward's absence, missed the last two outings due to illness, but he is expected to get the call on Saturday.
Forwards Tim Brent, Chad LaRose, Riley Nash and defenseman Joni Pitkanen are also questionable for Carolina on Saturday.
Carolina has taken two of three from the Devils after losing the previous five encounters in this series. The Hurricanes have lost two of three on home ice against New Jersey.
03/09 10:53:31 ET