Devils 4, Hurricanes 2

When defenseman Andy Greene played his first professional game

with Lowell of the American Hockey League in 2006, he scored two

goals – and hadn’t accomplished the feat since.

Until Wednesday night.

Greene had consecutive goals for the surging New Jersey Devils

in a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s pretty amazing,” the 27-year-old Greene said. “It feels

pretty good to be out there and it’s been a lot of fun. I hope we

can keep it going.”

Patrik Elias and Rob Niedermayer also scored for the Devils, who

have won four straight and seven of eight. Martin Brodeur made 21

saves but remained tied with Terry Sawchuk for the most shutouts in

NHL history at 103.

Greene scored the second and third goals of the game, giving New

Jersey (21-7-1) a 3-0 lead before Carolina scored twice in a span

of 1:58 to cut it to 3-2 in the second period.

Greene’s recent play has certainly caught the eye of Devils

coach Jacques Lemaire.

“We’re not an overpowering team offensively, so we need goals

from our defensemen,” Lemaire said. “I always have a feeling that

Andy is going to slow down, but he never does. He plays well every

night. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. He’s very good.

He controls the puck and makes plays. I never thought he could be

this good, but right now he’s playing like an All-Star.”

Brandon Sutter, the son of former Devils coach and current

Calgary coach Brent Sutter, had the first goal for the Hurricanes

(7-18-5), who dropped to 1-11-3 on the road. Tuomo Ruutu added a

power-play goal.

Elias scored the first goal, giving him 299 for his career, and

Niedermayer’s empty-netter sealed it with 5 seconds left – ending

Carolina’s modest two-game winning streak.

“Until the shift where we took the penalty in the third period,

I really liked the way we played,” Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice

said. “We’ve played well for about a month now. We don’t have a

whole lot to show for it.”

The Devils got a fluke goal in the first. Elias took a pass from

Niclas Bernfors and skated in on the right side. His attempted

backhand pass back to Bernfors was broken up by Carolina defenseman

Aaron Ward, but the puck caromed off Ward’s skate and into the

net.

Elias’ fourth goal of the season came at 11:11.

New Jersey increased the lead to 2-0 late in the period when

Greene skated into the Carolina zone untouched and unleashed a

rocket slap shot from the blue line.

“From my angle, Andy had very little room to shoot, but it

managed to get through,” Brodeur said. “It definitely helps when

everyone is contributing offensively, because we can’t rely on the

same guys every game. It helps when you can spread it out,

especially among the defensemen.”

The shot eluded Carolina goalie Cam Ward, who missed the

previous 13 games with a cut on his upper leg that he got from the

skate of Columbus’ Rick Nash on Nov. 7.

“I felt a little bit uncomfortable at times in the first

period, but as the game went along I thought I settled down and

played better in the second and the third,” Cam Ward said. “By

the end of the game, I felt like my normal self.”

Early in the second Greene scored again, this time on a power

play. With Ray Whitney off for high-sticking, Greene skated into

the Hurricanes’ zone, got knocked down, but was able to get up in

time to knock in a rebound of Zach Parise’s shot for his fifth goal

of the season.

“I got hit, fell down, and just kept going to the net,” Greene

said. “The puck came to me and I made the play.”

It didn’t take long for Carolina to end Brodeur’s bid for the

record-breaking shutout. Sutter took a shot that skipped and

handcuffed Brodeur and found its way into the net just 43 seconds

after Greene’s second goal.

“It was deflected and then bounced down,” Brodeur said. “I

was still looking for it when it went past me.”

Ruutu scored less than two minutes later.

“We turned the puck over like three or four times in a row in

our zone and stopped playing in their zone,” Lemaire said. “We

tried to be a little too fancy and tried to make plays we were not

able to make. They got the momentum going.”

The Hurricanes dominated the third period but couldn’t score.

They had two good shots with two extra men on the ice in the

closing minute, but Niedermayer put the game away for New

Jersey.

“It’s a mentality. We’ve got to refuse to give up on our season

and continue to strive to do better,” Cam Ward said.

NOTES: Devils D Mike Mottau returned to the lineup after missing

Monday’s game with food poisoning. … Cam Ward dropped to 2-10-3

this season. … Brodeur is 28-12-3 against Carolina. He needs

three more appearances to tie Patrick Roy for most games played by

a goalie in NHL history (1,029). … Devils D Bryce Salvador went

hard headfirst into the boards in the first period and was on the

ice for several minutes, but returned to action later in the game.

“He wanted to come back,” Lemaire said. “At first, I didn’t

think he would be able to come back, but hockey players are

tough.”