Devils looking to heat up heading into tilt vs. Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. — The New Jersey Devils are feeling relatively good about how they’re playing, while the Carolina Hurricanes are dealing with the afterglow of a feel-good story.

The Metropolitan Division rivals meet Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

The Devils bring a stretch of two victories in three games into the tilt after defeating the visiting Boston Bruins 3-0 on Monday night. The team is still trying to make up from a miserable stretch earlier in the season.

“We have to not dwell on the past. We can’t control that any more,” goaltender Cory Schneider said. “It would be one thing if we didn’t have the talent or the team here to get it done. But we’ve seen what we can do.”

The Hurricanes are coming off Saturday night’s game at Tampa Bay when equipment manager Jorge Alves, 37, was pressed into duty as the backup goaltender. He saw action in the waning seconds of the team’s 3-1 loss.

It created a huge amount of buzz for the Hurricanes, given the unusual nature of the situation after goalie Eddie Lack became ill earlier in the day. The team had few options because of the late notice.

Alves’ moment came in the last 7.6 seconds when he replaced Cam Ward.

“It was a perfect storm situation the way it unfolded,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “It seemed to be the right thing to do. … He has his heart in the right place and he wants to do what he can do to help us.”

This became a far bigger situation for Alves than when he played in some low minor leagues years ago. Even now, he sometimes fills in at practice if the Hurricanes are down a goalie.

Yet it’s extremely unlikely that Alves will be used again when New Jersey visits.

The setback at Tampa Bay can’t be dismissed.

“We’ll learn from it,” Peters said.

The Hurricanes look to increase an 11-game home point streak (10-0-1). At least one point Tuesday night would match the second-best home point streak in franchise history.

New Jersey’s Taylor Hall is back after a two-game absence to address an injury. It’s his hope to ignite a lagging power play.

“I think we have to reset and come out with a new mindset,” he said of the special teams.

When the Devils have had some success, such as Monday night, there’s an element of optimism that’s easy to identify.

“When everyone plays well, it’s easy to find a rhythm,” defenseman Steven Santini said.

New Jersey won the first two meetings with the Hurricanes this season, claiming decisions by 4-1 and 3-2 in a shootout.

Lack’s status remained uncertain Monday, but it figures that the Hurricanes would call up Michael Leighton from Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Leighton had some outings in Lack’s absence several weeks ago when he was out with a concussion.

So this means that the Hurricanes will almost assuredly stick with Ward in goal

Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin will play in his 100th career game. He leads the team in ice time by averaging more than 23 minutes per game this season.

Hurricanes forward Lee Stempniak played part of last season with the Devils.

The trip to Raleigh will be the only road outing for the Devils during a six-game stretch.