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Devils draw first-round matchup with 'Canes

Saturday, 04.11.2009 / 9:42 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils draw first-round matchup with \'Canes
newjerseydevils.com – After beating the Carolina Hurricanes in Saturday's regular season finale, the Devils will face them in the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Pittsburgh's 3-1 win Saturday night in Montreal locked Carolina into the sixth seed with 97 points, and set up a Devils-Hurricanes best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

The Devils, meanwhile, posted a 3-2 victory Saturday for their first win in four meetings with Carolina this season. Dainius Zubrus broke a 2-2 tie with 4:26 remaining in regulation, while Zach Parise and David Clarkson had the other goals for the Atlantic Division champs.

Martin Brodeur registered 23 saves for his first win in two appearances against Carolina this season. He has held the Hurricanes to four goals in those two games, which included a career-high 46 saves in a 2-1 home loss on March 28.

Parise had two goals in this year's season series, and said Saturday that three losses to Carolina shouldn't have any bearing on what happens in their upcoming postseason battle.

"Win one, win two, what's the difference?" said the Devils' leading scorer. "I think we've matched up pretty well against them and every time we've lost it's been tight the whole way through. We'll see what happens."

The Devils faced the Hurricanes three times in the final three-and-a-half weeks of the regular season, and four times since Jan. 6. Patrik Elias (2g-2a) and Brian Rolston (4a) were the Devils' leaders. Rolston had two assists in Saturday's game for his fourth multipoint outing of the year.

Rod Brind'Amour had six points (6a) against the Devils, but defenseman Anton Babchuk has burned the Devils for four power-play goals and an assist in four games. Babchuk struck twice with the man advantage in Saturday's contest.

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"We happen to know Carolina a lot because we've played them so much here since January," said head coach Brent Sutter, whose Devils won a franchise-record 51 games. "We've seen them play a lot here recently, and obviously they're playing very well."

Carolina's Cam Ward started the first three games of the season series and posted a 3-0 mark with a 1.67 goals-against average. In his last appearance versus the Devils, Ward recorded 31 saves in a 2-1 win at Prudential Center.

This will be the fourth postseason meeting between the teams. The Devils needed six games to win their 2001 Eastern Conference quarterfinals matchup with the Hurricanes, and went on to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Carolina, however, has won their last two postseason series clashes with the Devils, including the 2006 Eastern Conference semifinals, which they captured in five games.

Elias (1g-4a) and Jamie Langenbrunner (1g-4a) were the Devils scoring leaders in that series, while Eric Staal had three goals and four assists to pace all Hurricanes. All three skaters figure to have a big impact on their respective clubs when the upcoming quarterfinal gets underway either Wednesday or Thursday at Prudential Center.

Ward, who had a career-high 39 wins this season, started all five games against the Devils in the 2006 semis and allowed five goals in his four wins, including a shutout. Jay Pandolfo had the game-winner in New Jersey's 5-1 triumph in game four at the Meadowlands.

Carolina eliminated New Jersey in six games of the 2002 quarters, when current Devil Kevin Weekes secured the final two wins of the series for the Hurricanes. Brian Gionta had both of the Devils' game-winners in the series.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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