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newjerseydevils.com – After going winless on their recent three-game road trip and grabbing one of a possible six points, the Devils are looking forward to coming home.
When they host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Prudential Center, Jersey's Team will be trying to extend their franchise-record 11-game winning streak on home ice (7 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).
New Jersey picked up its lone point of the trip in Friday's 3-2 loss to the Blackhawks at Chicago. Zach Parise scored his 42nd of the season and Paul Martin snapped a 22-game goal drought, but Brent Seabrook got the winner with 1:24 left in the extra session.
Martin Havlat had a goal and two assists as the Devils lost to the Blackhawks for the first time since October 10, 1998. Chicago ended the longest active winless stretch, date-wise, between any two teams in the NHL.
Martin Brodeur stopped 19 of 20 shots in the first period, as New Jersey survived five Chicago power plays in the opening frame to escape with a 2-1 lead. Brodeur finished with 39 saves.
"We're not playing as well as we want to, but we've got a lot of games left," Brodeur said. "We've got to start building a little and get focused on what we need to do."
Since earning his 101st career shutout last week against visiting Minnesota, Brodeur has allowed 11 goals in the three straight losses, but the Devils goaltender will look to bounce back at home, where he has won eight straight while giving up eight goals.
Brodeur is 8-1-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average in his last 10 starts against the Hurricanes, but sat out the March 18 defeat after breaking Patrick Roy's NHL record for career wins the previous night against Chicago.
He also missed a 3-2 loss in Carolina on Jan. 6 while recovering from left elbow surgery. Since returning Feb. 26, Brodeur is 9-3-1 with a 2.19 GAA and is two shutouts away from tying Terry Sawchuk's all-time mark of 103.
The Devils (47-23-4) have already clinched their 12th straight playoff berth, but have dropped to third in the East – one point behind Washington. New Jersey remains eight ahead of Philadelphia and is trying to reach 100 points for the 10th time in 12 seasons after finishing with 99 in 2007-08.
The Hurricanes (41-28-7) began their current season-high win streak with a victory over the Devils. Carolina will be searching for their sixth straight victory in their quest to secure their first trip to the postseason since their Stanley Cup title in 2006.
Since a 4-2 home victory March 18 over New Jersey, Carolina has moved within one point of fourth-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference with its five consecutive wins. While the Hurricanes have earned a point in 11 of their last 12 games, they remain only five points ahead of eighth-place Montreal.
With a pair of third-period goals, Carolina earned a clutch 2-1 victory Thursday night over visiting Ottawa and can accomplish another feat from its Cup-winning season. The Hurricanes can win six in a row for the first time since a nine-game streak from Dec. 31, 2005-Jan. 19, 2006.
Rod Brind'Amour has a point in each of his team's five straight wins with two goals and six assists, and Anton Babchuk has four goals during the streak.
Carolina has won three straight over the Devils but lost its past two at New Jersey and is 1-3-1 in the last five trips there. The Devils host the Hurricanes twice in their final four games at the Rock, including Fan Appreciation Day on April 11.
with AP wire services
With 42 goals and 89 points, Parise is within sight of Brian Gionta's club single-season mark for goals (48) and Patrik Elias' mark for points (96). He had six shots in Friday's game to reach 326 for the season and surpass John MacLean's single-season record (322).
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