(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will try to match their longest
winning streak from last season when they host the Carolina Hurricanes for
Tuesday's battle at Prudential Center.
The Devils, who are leading the Eastern Conference with 19 points, have won
five straight and are coming off a home-and-home sweep of the rival Pittsburgh
Penguins over the weekend.
It's the longest winning streak for the Devils since they closed the 2011-12
schedule with a season-best six-game winning streak. That hot streak was a
sign of things to come as New Jersey wound up making it all the way to the
Stanley Cup Finals before being ousted by the Los Angeles Kings.
New Jersey entered its weekend series trailing the Penguins by a point for the
Atlantic Division lead, but a pair of 3-1 triumphs has pushed the Devils three
points in front of Pittsburgh.
After beating the Penguins on home ice Saturday, the Devils turned in another
winning effort Sunday in the Steel City. David Clarkson scored a pair of goals
in the finale, as New Jersey jumped out to a 3-0 lead at CONSOL Energy Center
before allowing the Pens to score their only goal early in the third period.
"It was a real gutsy effort," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We had to dig
deep. We didn't have a lot juice left in the tank and we found a way."
Clarkson already has nine goals on the season after recording a career-best 30
markers in 2011-12.
Ilya Kovalchuk also lit the lamp, while Johan Hedberg turned away 23-of-24
shots. Martin Brodeur, who made 24 saves in Saturday's victory, is expected to
be back in the starting role on Tuesday.
The Devils have yet to lose a game in regulation on home ice this season,
posting a 5-0-1 mark in Newark.
New Jersey has dominated the Hurricanes in recent seasons, winning six of
seven and 10 of the last 13 encounters. Carolina has dropped seven in a row
and nine of its previous 10 contests in the Garden State.
However, Carolina also enters Tuesday's test on a hot streak, having won three
of four and getting at least a point in each of those games (3-0-1).
The Hurricanes played Monday evening against the New York Islanders and
notched a 6-4 decision to improve to 3-1-1 on the six-game road trip that ends
in New Jersey.
Jiri Tlusty scored twice and had two assists during a four-goal third period
to help Carolina pull off a comeback win on Long Island. New York held a 3-2
edge after 40 minutes but the 'Canes took control of the game with three
unanswered goals in the first half of the third period.
Alexander Semin potted his 200th career goal 5:33 into the final frame to snap
a 3-3 tie, while assisting on both of Tlusty's tallies. Eric Staal added a
goal and an assist and Cam Ward made 24 saves in the victory.
"I think tonight may have been the best game of the road trip," said
Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller. "We just keep finding ways to win right
Carolina, which will host Toronto on Thursday, is 4-2-1 as the guest this
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