Hurricanes-Devils Preview

Goals have been tough to come by against the New Jersey Devils
lately, regardless of their starting goaltender.

It hasn’t hurt that they also have one of the NHL’s top scorers
at the other end.

The Devils will try to extend their season-best five-game
winning streak on Tuesday night and make it eight straight
regular-season home wins against the Carolina Hurricanes.

With Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg playing at a high level,
New Jersey (8-1-3) has allowed just five goals during its five-game
run that has propelled the team to top of the Eastern
Conference.

Brodeur has won three straight starts with a 1.33 goals-against
average, while Hedberg earned a 3-1 victory at Pittsburgh on Sunday
and has a 0.65 GAA on the season.

Brodeur is expected to return to the net against a Carolina team
he’s dominated over his career. The veteran is 6-1-0 with a 1.44
GAA and one shutout in his last seven home starts in the
series.

Both goalies have received plenty of support recently, with New
Jersey totaling 16 goals in its last five games.

David Clarkson has been a big part of that production, with five
goals during the win streak. He scored twice in Sunday’s victory
that completed a home-and-home sweep of the Penguins.

Clarkson, who has scored in each of his last two games against
the Hurricanes, ranks among the league leaders nine goals and 15
points.

“I think the big thing right now is this team is winning,” said
Clarkson. “It doesn’t matter who’s scoring. The puck’s going in,
but it doesn’t matter who it is. We’re doing good things.”

Ilya Kovalchuk also scored on Sunday, giving him two goals and
three assists in his last three contests after a five-game stretch
without a point. He has three and five, respectively, in his last
five against the Hurricanes.

New Jersey has converted 7 of 22 power-play chances (31.8
percent) during the streak after Clarkson scored on its only
opportunity at Pittsburgh.

They’ll try to continue that efficiency against the Hurricanes
(6-4-1), who hope to tighten up a defense that has allowed seven
goals in the last two games.

Carolina looks to wrap up its six-game road trip on a positive
note after winning three of its last four – including a 6-4 victory
over the New York Islanders on Monday.

Eric Staal had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak
to nine games. He has eight goals and 14 points during that
stretch.

Staal, however, has no goals and only five points in his last 13
regular-season meetings against the Devils.

After going 4 for 12 on the power play in the first three games
of the trip, the Hurricanes have come up empty on six chances the
past two.

They may not be able to turn things around against a New Jersey
team that has killed 26 of 28 opposing power plays over its last
six games.

Carolina’s Cam Ward has surrendered eight goals in his last two
starts after posting a 1.47 GAA while winning his previous two.
With games on back-to-back nights and Ward 0-5-1 in his last six
starts at New Jersey, backup Dan Ellis could make fourth start of
the season.

The Devils have won six of the last seven meetings in this
series.