New Jersey at Carolina

Devils drop 'Canes, Kovalchuk extends point streak wire reports

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New Jersey Devils appeared to be buried and out of the Eastern Conference playoff race months, but they apparently never got the memo.

Dainius Zubrus scored goals in the first and third periods and the Devils earned their seventh straight victory by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Saturday night.

The Devils, in a desperate fight to get into playoff contention after a miserable start, are just 10 points behind the eighth-place Hurricanes after beating Carolina for the third time in 12 days.

"We took control early, for a change, because here this team is known for great starts," Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Every time they step on the ice they really skate and get on top of the other team. We were pretty lucky to get that first goal."

Carolina remained four points ahead of Buffalo and Atlanta.

Henrik Tallinder and Brian Rolston also had first-period goals, and Patrik Elias had three assists for the 13th-place Devils (25-30-4), 15-1-2 in their past 18 games. Ilya Kovalchuk added an assist to stretch his point streak to 10 games (7 goals, 5 assists), but his four-game goal streak was snapped.

"We got beaten by a better team," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "Right out of the gate, the first six or seven minutes, penalties put us back on our heels. We beat the puck up pretty badly."

Patrick Dwyer scored for Carolina in the third period to deny Johan Hedberg a chance at consecutive shutouts on back-to-back nights. Hedberg and the Devils beat the New York Rangers 1-0 at home Friday.

Hedberg finished with 24 saves after getting another start over Martin Brodeur, who is back on the active roster but serving as the backup as he recovers from a knee injury.

Carolina's Cam Ward stopped 21 shots, but only 12 of 15 in the first period.

Zubrus beat Ward just 1:14 in when he deflected Mark Fayne's hard shot from the right point. Tallinder made it 2-0 on a one-timer from the left point, with Kovalchuk earning the primary assist at 11:17.

"This team is always tough to play in this building," Zubrus said. "We kind of knew that and wanted to match it and we were able to jump on top."

Rolston pushed the advantage to three goals when he followed Elias' shot from the right doorstep at 16:14.

Dwyer ended Hedberg's shutout bid at 6:49 of the third when he redirected Jamie McBain's shot from the high slot. That made it 3-1, but Zubrus sealed New Jersey's win with 8:17 left by beating Ward over the left shoulder from the right circle.

"We played so strong the whole game," Hedberg said. "We didn't give up much."


  • Devils C Travis Zajac played in his 378th straight game, 10 shy of former D Ken Daneyko's team record.
  • Devils D Anton Volchenkov earned his 100th career point with a first-period assist.
  • Defenseman Derek Joslin made his Carolina debut.
  • Hurricanes D Joni Pitkanen sat out with an undisclosed lower body injury.
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Dainius Zubrus (left) opens with a goal 1:14 into the game, then finishes New Jersey's scoring with a wrister in the third. (Getty Images)
Dainius Zubrus (left) opens with a goal 1:14 into the game, then finishes New Jersey's scoring with a wrister in the third. (Getty Images)
New Jersey  (24-30-4) «3014
Carolina (27-24-8)0011
Three Stars
D. Zubrus

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
P. Elias

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
B. Rolston

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
01:14 - Dainius Zubrus (12), Tip-In. Assist: Fayne, Elias
11:17 - Henrik Tallinder (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Kovalchuk, Palmieri
16:14 - Brian Rolston (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Volchenkov, Elias
06:49 - Patrick Dwyer (8), Tip-In. Assist: McBain, Samson
11:43 - Dainius Zubrus (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Elias
Penalty Summary
07:17LaRose, 2 min, Broken Stick
12:13Skinner, 2 min, Tripping
02:46Bodie, 5 min, Fighting
02:46Clarkson, 5 min, Fighting
10:36Zubrus, 2 min, Hooking
10:36Jokinen, 2 min, Holding the Stick
12:13Tallinder, 2 min, Holding
03:09Salmela, 2 min, Roughing
03:09LaRose, 2 min, Roughing
03:09LaRose, 2 min, Roughing
08:13Fayne, 2 min, Interference
14:16Zubrus, 2 min, Elbowing
Shots On Goal
Johan Hedberg59:56241
Cam Ward60:00214
Game Information
Attendance - 17890
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Pierre Racicot
Other Games
Atl 3 Final
Edm 5
Ott 1 Final
Tor 0
LA 0 Final
Fla 3 Final
TB 2
Ana 3 Final
StL 9
Pho 3 Final
Nash 2
Dal 2 Final
Van 5
Colo 0 Final
SJ 4