Hurricanes 6, Devils 3
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes raced to a 5-1 lead after two periods before holding off the New Jersey Devils in a 6-3 win Saturday night at PNC Arena.
Eleven players hit the score sheet for Carolina. Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin had three points; Jordan Staal, Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner each had two.
Carolina goaltender Dan Ellis stopped 31 shots to record his fourth win of the season.
The Hurricanes held a four-goal lead after 40 minutes, but the Devils struck for two goals early in the third period. Ilya Kovalchuk's wraparound deflected off the skate of defenseman Justin Faulk, and Patrick Elias redirected a shot by Marek Zidlicky to cut the Carolina lead to 5-3.
Tlusty got an empty-net goal to seal it for the Hurricanes, who have won five out of six.
Kovalchuk scored twice for New Jersey, which is 1-6-1 in its past eight.
After a tentative opening half of the first period, the teams traded a few chances. Semin started the scoring for Carolina on the power play with a swift forehand-to-backhand move. The Hurricanes worked to control the puck behind the net before Joe Corvo threaded a pass from the left-wing boards to Semin in front.
Carolina struck 28 seconds later when New Jersey goaltender Johan Hedberg kicked out a long rebound of Jordan Staal's shot, only to have defenseman Jay Harrison sail into the slot to tap home a backhander.
The Devils stemmed the tide two minutes later when Kovalchuk scored New Jersey's NHL-leading seventh shorthanded goal. He blocked a shot by Faulk and raced the other way to score on the forehand.
Carolina dominated the second period, and Ellis got in on the offense to key the Hurricanes' third goal. He fired a pass to the New Jersey blue line, where Semin gathered the puck, backed off defenseman Peter Harrold, then found Tlusty on the left doorstep.
The Hurricanes celebrated a feel-good goal to take a 4-1 lead. Chris Terry, in his first NHL game, corralled a deflected shot in front of Hedberg, then drew the puck from his forehand to his backhand, sliding it under the goalie.
Terry had played 235 games in the American Hockey League before making his NHL debut.
Skinner's ninth goal of the season made it 5-1 when he reached for a tap-in on Tim Gleason's centering pass from the goal line.
Jeff Frazee made his NHL debut in the New Jersey net to start the third period.
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