Devils fall to red hot Carolina
NEWARK, N.J. -- Tuomo Ruutu scored a deciding goal late in the third period and Cam Ward made 31 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes extended their winning streak to a season-high six games by beating the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Saturday night.
Ruutu connected for a power-play goal with 3:55 remaining, knocking in a rebound from the slot after Eric Stall tried to jam the puck past goalie Martin Brodeur.
Sergei Samsonov also scored for Carolina, which solidified its grip on a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a determined effort. The Hurricanes pelted Brodeur with 48 shots. Joe Corvo assisted on both goals that came in the final 6:55.
It is Carolina's best run since the Hurricanes won nine in a row from Dec. 31, 2005-Jan. 19, 2006 Patrik Elias scored for New Jersey, the Atlantic Division leaders who lost their fourth straight and had a club-record, home-winning streak snapped at 11.
Elias scored the only goal of the first period with 1:51 remaining. Brian Gionta carried the puck into the Carolina zone before throwing a pass back to Elias, who trailed the play. Elias ripped his 31st goal past Ward from the top of the right circle.
The Hurricanes pressed hard for the equalizer in the second period but they couldn't dent Brodeur despite taking 18 shots.
Brodeur was at his best with Carolina on its lone power play of the period, stopping a blue line blast from Corvo before diving to deny Ray Whitney's rebound bid.
The Hurricanes' persistence finally paid off on their 43rd shot.
Corvo fired a shot from the right point, and Samsonov pounced on the rebound to tie it at 1.
Notes: The Hurricanes scratched C Matt Cullen (lower body injury), RW Scott Walker (upper body injury), D Frantisek Kaberle and C Michael Ryan. The Devils were without D Jay Leach, D Andy Greene and LW Jay Pandolfo. ... Corvo played in his 100th game for Carolina. ... Ward made his 24th consecutive start, extending the longest stretch of his career. He is 16-6-2 in that span.
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