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newjerseydevils.com – The Devils missed a chance to take first place last night, but hope for a turnaround in their play on home ice.
The club will look to get back on track at Prudential Center when it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in Newark (7 p.m., FSN NY, WFAN 660 AM).
New Jersey has dropped five of its last seven overall, including last night's 2-1 defeat against Anaheim. Jay Pandolfo scored the lone goal for the Devils, who have lost four of six at home.
Pandolfo has a goal and assist in three games since missing 28 with an abdominal injury.
The Devils (30-21-4) remained one point behind both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but could get a lift in their matchup with the 'Canes. Carolina has lost six of its last seven games against New Jersey.
"It seems that we need a wakeup call," Martin Brodeur said. "For whatever reason, we seem to need to get down a few goals to get our game going. We have to find ways to have better starts."
Brodeur has started 14 consecutive games and 24 of 25. The 35-year-old netminder, second all-time with 522 wins, is 29-12-0 with five ties in 46 career starts against the Hurricanes.
One night after reclaiming first place in the Southeast Division, the Hurricanes will be playing to pad their lead with their first visit of the season to the Garden State.
Carolina (27-26-4) beat Washington 2-1 on Friday, rebounding from back-to-back losses to move past the Capitals and back into the division's top spot. Washington had won eight of 12 to earn its brief division lead over Carolina, which had dropped seven of 11 heading into Friday's game.
Given the records of teams in the Southeast, the first-place team could be the only one from the division to reach the postseason. The Capitals fell into 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, three points out of a playoff spot.
The Hurricanes have allowed just 10 goals in their last five games, a vast improvement over their season average of 3.16 per game.
However, Carolina has scored just three total goals in its last three games after tallying at least three in each of the previous five games.
with wire services