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Into the Fire - Canes at Devils Preview

The Hurricanes are in New Jersey to take on the Devils tonight in a game that will not be as easy as the previous game was in Raleigh.  The last time the two teams met on March 18th, New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur had just broken the all time record for most wins for a goalie in NHL history.  Brodeur took the night off, and even though they were on the ice it appeared like a few of his teammates did as well. 

No such luck for Carolina tonight.

Bordeur is supposed to start, and the Devils will most likely be in a sour mood.  They have lost their last three straight and have now dropped behind the Capitals into third place in the Conference.  And you better believe that coach Brent Sutter has reminded them all of that fact.  Even though they lost in OT in Chicago last night and had to travel home, the Canes are not expecting anything different from the typical, tough, grinding game that the Devils usually play. 

For more inside perspective about New Jersey, check out In Lou We Trust.

The Canes are riding high on a five game winning streak, their longest of the season.  They have played great hockey of late and are sporting an 8-1-2 record in their last 11 games, and 14-4-2 in their last 20.  They are 2-0 against the Devils so far this season, but both of those wins came at the RBC.  The Canes have a 1-3-1 record in their last five games in Jersey.

Cam Ward will be making his personal best 24th consecutive start tonight.   The goalie is playing the most consistent hockey of his career lately, and is getting plenty of recognition for it. 

Matt Cullen did not make the trip and will miss his third straight game.  Scott Walker is still on injured reserve.

Jussi Jokinen has done a fine job filling in for Cullen.  While he is not as explosive as his predecessor, he is very smart and is usually in perfect position. 

Look for the following lines:

  • Staal, Ruutu, Cole
  • Jokinen, Whitney, LaRose
  • Brind'Amour, Samsonov, Eaves
  • Helminen, Bayda, Conboy
  • Corvo, Gleason
  • Pitkanen, Babchuk
  • Wallin, Seidenberg

Rod Brind'Amour is in the midst of a five game scoring streak.  (2g, 6A)  Ray Whitney has a four game streak, (1g, 5a), and Joni Pitkanen and Anton Babchuk each have both scored in three straight. 

The Hurricanes have a lot of confidence right now, but the Devils should be playing with more urgency.  This should be a good matchup tonight.  The game will be broadcast by FS Carolina starting at 7PM.