Hurricanes 2, Devils 1 (F/OT)
Sergei Brylin and the Devils came a goal short of a season series sweep against Carolina.
newjerseydevils.com (Feb. 26) –
Sergei Samsonov proved too much for the Devils in Carolina.
Samsonov scored twice, including the overtime winner, as the Devils fell, 2-1, to the Hurricanes at the RBC Center on Tuesday night
Samsonov used Andy Greene
as a screen, and put a shot on Martin Brodeur
from the right faceoff circle. He then followed up his own rebound to beat Brodeur for the winner at 1:36 of the extra session.
Brian Gionta notched the only goal of the night for the Devils, who saw their winning streak come to an end at five games.
The Devils lost for the first time in four matchups against the Hurricanes this season, after outscoring Carolina 15-3 in their three previous meetings.
New Jersey (37-21-6) went a ninth consecutive game without losing in regulation and extended its edge over Ottawa to two points in the race for first in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa dropped its second in a row with a loss at Boston on Tuesday.
However, the Devils lost ground to the Penguins, who picked up a win on Long Island to move within a point of New Jersey for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
After splitting the two-game trip against the Southeast, the Devils will return to Newark to host Washington on Friday. The club then hits the road to play six of its next seven on the road, beginning with Montreal on Saturday.
On a night in which the Devils couldn't deliver on offense, Brodeur once again gave his club a chance to win.
After making 37 saves at Washington in Sunday's 2-1 win, Brodeur posted 33 stops in Carolina, including one in overtime. It was the fourth time in his last six starts that Brodeur was called upon to make 30 or more saves.
Brodeur kept the Hurricanes at bay even as the Devils were outshot 26-14 over the final 40 minutes and 36-24 overall.
After a scoreless first period, Gionta scored his 17th to give New Jersey the first lead.
Gionta's centering attempt intended for Travis Zajac
deflected off the stick of Bret Hedican and past Cam Ward for 1-0 Devils advantage at 1:50 of the second period.
The goal came unassisted for the right winger, who has four goals and six assists for 10 points in his last 13 games.
Just 4:07 later, Carolina responded on the power play.
With time expiring on Mike Mottau's high-sticking minor, Samsonov carried into Devils territory then drove to the front of the net. Keith Aucoin put a wrist shot on Brodeur from the bottom of the right circle, and Samsonov was able to get free to put home the rebound at 5:57, with just one second left on Mottau's penalty.
Samsonov's eighth was the only Carolina goal of a middle frame in which the Hurricanes put 14 shots on goal.
In three previous meetings with the Devils this season, Samsonov had no points along with a minus-1 rating. He was the difference on Tuesday night.
After a raucous start in which the teams combined for 41 PIMs over the first two periods, there were no penalties handed out in the third... Tuesday's scratches were Karel Rachunek and Vitaly Vishnevski... Newly acquired defenseman Bryce Salvador
was to arrive in New Jersey on Tuesday night, and take his physical on Wednesday... New Jersey was looking to post its first sweep against the Hartford/Carolina franchise since going 3-0 in 1991-92. The Devils had registered a 5-1 win in the last meeting between the teams on Feb. 18... Samsonov, who was acquired off waivers from Chicago on Jan. 8, now has nine goals and nine assists in 22 games with Carolina.
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