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GAME: New Jersey Devils (42-27-9) at Carolina Hurricanes (51-21-6).
TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EDT.
The New Jersey Devils try to advance to the postseason for the ninth consecutive season and extend their winning streak to eight games when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
New Jersey, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, needs one point in its last four games to clinch a playoff berth. The Devils are two points behind fifth-place Philadelphia, and host the Flyers in consecutive games on Thursday and Sunday.
New Jersey extended its winning streak to seven with a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday as Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta scored 39 seconds apart in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit.
Martin Brodeur, who made 24 saves, is one win shy of reaching 40 for the fifth time in his career. He last reached the milestone in 2002-03, when he won 41 games and led the Devils to their third Stanley Cup championship in nine years.
Gionta's game-winning goal Sunday was his 44th of the season, moving him within two of tying the franchise-record set by Pat Verbeek in 1987-88. Gionta has eight goals and seven assists during an 11-game point streak.
With four games remaining, Carolina is trying to beat out Ottawa and lock up the top spot in the conference for the first time in franchise history.
The Hurricanes won three straight games against last-place Washington in a five-day span before losing 5-2 to Atlanta on Saturday. Justin Williams scored two power-play goals, but Carolina was outshot 34-25, including 18-3 during an opening period in which it fell behind 3-0.
"We need some time to rest mentally," Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour said of playing six games in the last nine days. "I don't think I've ever played this many games in this amount of time. Mentally, it gets to be like 'Groundhog Day.' You try to get up and play with all that intensity, but sometimes it's hard to face it, and we just ran out of it tonight."
Williams, who has five goals and three assists in his last four contests, has scored just once in 19 games against the Devils in his career.
STANDINGS: Devils - 93 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Atlantic Division. Hurricanes - 108 points, 1st place, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Gionta, 44 goals and 79 points; Gomez, 46 assists; Jason Wiemer, 94 PIM. Hurricanes - Eric Staal, 44 goals and 96 points; Cory Stillman, 53 assists; Mike Commodore, 136 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Devils - Power play: 17.6 percent (74 for 421), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (277 for 339), 19th. Hurricanes - Power play: 18.0 percent (92 for 511), 15th. Penalty killing: 82.3 percent (348 for 423), 15th.
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (39-23-7, 5 SO, 2.60 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (3-4-2, 3.35). Hurricanes - Martin Gerber (37-13-4, 3, 2.72); Cam Ward (14-8-2, 3.68).
SEASON SERIES: Hurricanes, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 3; Devils, 3-0. At East Rutherford, N.J., Gionta scored and Brodeur made 28 saves to become the third goalie in league history to reach 100 career shutouts, including the playoffs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 17-16-6 on the road; Hurricanes - 30-7-1 at home.
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