Oduya's end-to-end rush in the first period will go down as one of the top Devils goals of the 2007-08 campaign.
newjerseydevils.com (Feb. 9) – The Devils needed this one.
Looking for a better offensive showing following Friday's 2-1 loss to Anaheim, the Devils roared back to beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-1, at Prudential Center on Saturday night.
Paul Martin notched his first career two-goal game, as five different Devils scored to
send the club to a third win in its last four games in Newark.
New Jersey was the scene of some recent struggles for the Devils, who had dropped six of nine at home entering play against Carolina. But the team's second six-goal output in the last four games in New Jersey was a giant step in the right direction.
"I thought tonight was as good a game as we've played all year, and not at all because we scored six goals," head coach Brent Sutter said. "It was the way we played the game. We played 60 minutes. Our emotion and intensity levels for the game were very high."
Colin White and Johnny Oduya also scored, giving the Devils four goals by defensemen for the first time since Oct. 31, 1984. Joe Cirella potted two against Pittsburgh, and Uli Hiemer added the only hat trick in team history by a blueliner.
Martin Brodeur needed 22 saves to end a two-game winless streak and collect his 29th win of the season. With 523 career victories, the Devils' goaltender closed to within 28 of Patrick Roy's all-time mark of 551.
New Jersey (31-21-4) remains one point behind first-place Pittsburgh, but moves a point ahead of Philadelphia for second place in the tight Atlantic Division race. Only five points separate the Flyers from the fourth-place Rangers.
The Devils tied a season high with four goals in the first period, and led the Hurricanes, 4-1, after 20 minutes.
White and Martin staked New Jersey to a 2-0 lead in the first six minutes of the contest, and goals from Oduya and Dainius Zubrus rounded out the opening frame.
White's second of the season – and second in five contests – gave the Devils their first regulation lead in three games. David Clarkson banked a pass from behind the Carolina net to the left point, and White blasted one by Cam Ward's glove side at 3:08.
Ward later got a piece of Martin's power play one-timer from Patrik Elias, but the slapshot from the top of the right circle carried into the net at 5:53.
Martin's fourth of the season was his first in 11 games and snapped an 0-for-9 drought with the man advantage.
Carolina recovered one with Keith Aucoin's third of the year, but Oduya put New Jersey back in control with what could be the prettiest goal of the Devils' season to date.
The sophomore blueliner picked up the puck behind New Jersey's net and flew end-to-end right down the middle of the ice, evading a diving Mike Commodore poke check to tuck a forehand around Ward's right pad at 15:47.
Zubrus made it 4-1 with his ninth at 17:58. Ward left a Brian Gionta rebound right to the front of the net, where Zubrus swatted it home for the Devils' second power-play goal of the period.
Martin's second of the night opened the scoring at 1:29 of the second period for a 5-1 lead. He wristed a rolling puck through traffic that beat Ward for the eighth goal by a Devils defenseman in the last five games.
Jay Pandolfo potted his 10th of the season and second in as many games on a 2-on-1 with John Madden. The play began in the Devils' zone, with Clarkson slipping the puck past a pinching Glen Wesley along the left boards.
Turning the play up ice, Madden wrapped a pass around the outstretched stick of a sliding Frantisek Kaberle and Pandolfo snapped it by Ward at 14:41 of the second period.
Six goals on 20 shots drove a shaky Ward from the Hurricanes' goal in favor of backup John Grahame, who made six saves in 25:19 of relief work.
The Devils grabbed their second straight win over the Hurricanes. The teams meet again at Prudential Center on Feb. 18, and close out the season series on Feb. 26 at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
NJD NOTES The Devils have reached a season-high six goals on home ice three times this season. The others were Oct. 31 vs. TB and Feb. 2 vs. LA... White, Martin and Oduya gave New Jersey three straight goals by defensemen for the first time since Dec. 31, 1991 (Stevens 2, Kasatonov)... Saturday's starting lineup was Dainius Zubrus-Travis Zajac-Brian Gionta with Colin White-Mike Mottau. Scratches were Sheldon Brookbank, Rod Pelley and Karel Rachunek... Sheldon's brother, Wade, is a Carolina defenseman.
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