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Ryan Carter and his mustache bringing success to Devils’ fourth line

Sean Leahy
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NEWARK -- Back in the mid-1990s when the New Jersey Devils were beginning heir Stanley Cup-winning ways, they were energized by a fourth line made up of Randy MacKay, Mike Peluso and Bobby Holik, famously known as "The Crash Line".

In 2012, as the Devils are set for their fifth Stanley Cup Final in franchise history, they've been aided again by a fourth line that's come through with key goals and brought energy to their shifts. The CBGB line of Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter have combined for nine goals and 19 points, with a pair of Carter's four goals being game winners.

Th 28-year old Carter is on his third team in the past two seasons. After failing to crack the lineup on a regular basis with the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers, the Devils claimed him off waivers at the end of October and he earned Head Coach Peter DeBoer's trust to play in a career high 65 games during the regular season.

This isn't Carter's first dance in the Stanley Cup Final as he played in four games with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 against the Ottawa Senators. Like in 2007, Carter has bypassed the annual hockey playoff tradition of growing a beard, mostly because he can't.

"I don't have genetically the makeup it takes to grow a beard," said Carter. "I don't genetically have the makeup for a mustache either, but I still have one."

Looking around at the various Devils during Media Day on Tuesday, the almost-two months worth of extra hair growth is noticeable on most of the players.

"Guys kind of do their own thing, but I'm trying to get a contingent to keep the mustache around for a little while," Carter said. "We'll see what happens."

"Everybody's got their own thing and superstitions to go along with your beard or mustache. Right now, there's some good beards. Some good mustaches and some good looking skin out there."

Can he see the mustache trend catching on?

"I don't think there's too many people that like this mustache."

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter @Sean_Leahy

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